Eleven (11) nurses who were arrested in June this year for violating coronavirus lockdown regulations after they demonstrated over poor salaries and working conditions have been set free.
The development was announced by the Zimbabwe Lawyers For Human Rights (ZLHR) on its social media pages. The association said:
Eleven (11) arrested nurses who had been on trial following a protest over poor salaries and working conditions at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, on July 6, 2020, were yesterday acquitted by the Mbare Magistrate Shelly Zvenyika.
The nurses were accused of participating in an illegal demonstration which contravened section 5(3)(a) of Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020 Public Health (COVID 19 Prevention, Containment, and Treatment Regulations National Lockdown) Order, 2020.
The magistrate acquitted the nurses at the close of the prosecution case after their lawyers Rudo Bere and Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of @ applied for them to be discharged arguing that the nurses had not committed an offense warranting them to be prosecuted.
Over a thousand people including MDC Alliance trio, Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova have been arrested since the initial imposition of the lockdown in March.
Some observers say the government is now using the lockdown as a political tool to crack down on critics including opposition members, journalists and human rights defenders.
More: ZLHR Twitter