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Harare Man Facing Upto 1 Year Imprisonment For Sharing Someone’s COVID-19 Status On WhatsApp

Disclosing someone’s health condition without their consent has always been a crime but it’s one of those things that isn’t taken too seriously in our country.

Jimmy Mhlanga who allegedly disclosed the COVID-19 status of someone via WhatsApp might have to learn his lesson the hard way.

In addition to sharing the person’s COVID-19 status he also went on to share names of the police officers who made contact with the person.

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Section 39 of the Health Act notes that a person’s health status can only be disclosed in the following cases:

  • the user consents to that disclosure in writing; or
  • a court order or any law requires that disclosure; or
  • non~disclosure of the information represents a serious threat to public health.

Disclosing someone’s health status is a level 8 offence meaning if found guilty Mhlanga could be imprisoned for a maximum of one year or fined – or in a worst case scenario both.

That’s a long time and should be enough reason for Zimbabwean’s commenting and disclosing people’s health status on social media (something which happens a lot) to desist from the habit.


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