The industrial action by nurses across the country has been described as a contravention of the Constitution as their action violates the right to life in respect of the patients who lost their lives as a result of the strike.
The state has a constitutional obligation to put in place measures to protect life while the public has a right to emergency health service.
The nurses’ pledge provides among other issues that they shall not do any evil and while to define what doing evil is remains a subjective matter.
It is clear from the Constitution that civil servants should not violate the fundamental rights or freedoms of any person, the right to life, health and etc.
Nurses should have valued these ethical standards and uphold the absolute right, the right to life.
Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara said in other countries there will be skeletal staff to provide essential services and in terms of emergency health services, there is an obligation to provide that and the nurses breached their oath.
“The nurses have their right to freedom of demonstration however the state has an obligation to respect the right to life when these rights are in conflict one has to consider that the right to life is more important than any other rights,” noted a lawyer, Mr Tapson Dzvetero.
Another lawyer Mr James Makiya said the decision taken by the government was necessary and is in the interest of the public and extension of an olive branch to re-apply if those affected want to return shows government willingness to addressing the problem.
“The decision taken was to ensure people would not die as a result of this action and it is pleasing to note that cases of these nurses will be looked at individual level,” he said.
Mr Makiya added that government must put in place monitoring mechanisms to ensure those who are taken on board will provide efficient services to the public.
The strike by nurses and the subsequent action by the government is an indication that there is need for people to understand the constitution in totality.