from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) believes the government must be held accountable for the cholera outbreak that has left more than 200 people dead and over 130 others hospitalised since February 2023.
The lawyers group expressed worry that lives had been lost though a preventable disease which was eradicated centuries ago in some countries.
“ZLHR is saddened that the ongoing deaths owing to cholera, which is a medieval disease, are a result of dereliction of duty by public officials and have brought desolation to the affected families and communities and the nation at large,” it stated.
It stated the deaths, 15 years after an outbreak left hundreds dead locally in 2008, were an indictment on both local and central governments of Zimbabwe.
“ZLHR holds both local and central government accountable for the recurrent cholera outbreaks and the unwarranted deaths of people because of their failure to invest in and manage basic water, sanitation infrastructure and public health facilities.”
“The failure by central and local governments to swiftly respond to the cholera epidemic through providing basic health services, medical treatment and services, clean running water and sanitary facilities to people, is an acceptable failure of leadership,” the lawyers said.
At independence in 1980, Zimbabwe had a vibrant sector.
However, the exodus of health professionals and the economic challenges have left the sector comatose.
The elite get treatment in neighbouring countries and overseas while a majority is left to contend with hospitals suffering gross lack of drugs and personnel.
– CAJ News