Thursday, 14 November 2019


A Bulawayo-based nurse aide who was dragged to court for masquerading as a medical doctor on Facebook and accessing a laboratory which was a restricted area to her has been acquitted.

During cross examination Ruvarashe Gumbochena pleaded not guilty to contravening Section 121 of the Health Professions Act Chapter 27.19 which criminalises unregistered persons practicing as or representing themselves to be medical practitioners.

In her defence she said she posted the pictures on Facebook as a way to inspire herself to become a medical practitioner. 

She said: “I posted my pictures on Facebook out of fun and as an inspiration because I have a dream to become a medical practitioner. I did put that caption that says ‘Doctor Ruvarashe Gumbochena, I am a dream designer and I do not chase dreams but I design them into whatever shape and size, I am just good at what I do’ so as to inspire myself in achieving my goal of becoming a medical doctor.”

She went on to tell the court that it was not her intention to represent herself as a medical practitioner.

The court heard when her former boss at Kes Laboratory Edward Muringani decided to view his subordinate’s social media pages he stumbled on Gumbochena’s pictures on the popular social media site.

Gumbochena allegedly posted her picture in a white jacket masquerading as a medical doctor while she was employed as nurse aide and did not possess enough qualifications to be a medical doctor. 

The court heard that she also posted some of her photos while she was in the laboratory area which is a restricted area and she was not allowed to enter and her duties did not allow her to do so. The court further heard that by doing so she acted against the Health Professions Act.

After a full trial magistrate Lesigo Ngwenya found Gumbochena not guilty.

The magistrate said the accused must be discharged.

“There is no evidence to prove an essential element of the offence. Therefore the court says in respect of these Facebook posts the accused did not calculate the intention to commit offence to practice as a medical doctor without being registered,” said Ngwenya. B Metro


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