Zimbabwe on Tuesday signed a bill into law that outlawed organised protests by healthcare workers who could now face a fine or imprisonment of up to six months.
The signing by President Emmerson Mnangagwa comes after health workers were locked in a protracted fight with the government over poor salaries last year.
Thousands of nurses and doctors at state-run hospitals in the southern African country went on strike last year demanding a hefty raise and wages in U.S. dollars due to a slide in the local currency and steep inflation that eroded the value of their earnings.
An exodus of doctors and nurses has left Zimbabwean hospitals understaffed, with over 4,000 health workers leaving the country since 2021, the country’s Health Services Board said in November.
Many nurses in Zimbabwe earn less than $100 a month.