Lawsuits pile against Zimbabwe’s response to COVID-19

Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr. Obadiah Moyo

Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr. Obadiah Moyo

from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News)THE Zimbabwean government has again been hauled to court for its inept handling of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the troubled Southern African country.

In the latest development, a legislator and human rights activist have sued the administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa seeking an order compelling government to provide safety nets and subsidies to vulnerable communities for the duration of the national lockdown.

In an application filed at the High Court, legislator Allan Norman Markham and Mfundo Mlilo, a human rights activist, want the court to order president Mnangagwa and some ministers to enact some regulations that support the limitation of movement of people by providing subsidies in the form of food, cash handouts and water.

Ministers cited are Mthuli Ncube (Finance and Economic Development), Obadiah Moyo (Health and Child Care) and July Moyo (Local Government, Rural and Urban Development).

The pair argues restricting movement without providing for safety nets threatens the right to life and to health care and defied the objectives of a statutory instrument that promulgated the lockdown that is effective until next Tuesday.

Markham and Mlilo protested that government has failed to pass regulations that provide distress relief and social protection provisions to vulnerable communities, informal traders and unemployed people.

The cash-strapped government is facing a number of court challenges after a lockdown was imposed at the end of March.

Medical doctors have gone to court demanding the provision of safety kits.

Residents associations have also sought legal action against the administration over failure to provide water to urban centres for years. It is feared lack of clean water would worsen the COVID-19 spread.

The impoverished public has been forced to breach lockdown orders in order to fend for food and water.

Zimbabwe has confirmed 14 COVID-19 cases and three deaths.

– CAJ News

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