HomeLocal NewsTyphoid outbreak closes courts

Typhoid outbreak closes courts

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after more than 25 court officials complained of severe diarrhoea.

A court official who declined to be identified said more than 20 clerks of court, five magistrates and other officials had been sent home since Wednesday after complaining of stomach problems.

A considerable number of our colleagues have suffered severe stomachaches and as a result they have been sent home to seek medical treatment. I am working, but am scared I could become one of the victims, the official said.

Both the provincial magistrate, Munamato Mutevedzi, and chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe declined to comment, but Deputy Secretary of the Judiciary Service Commission (JSC) Rex Shana confirmed the court had been provisionally closed.

It is true we have closed the court because there has been no water for almost four days and we decided to prioritise our staffs health.

Since there is no water, it is wise to close business and protect people taking into consideration the recent outbreak of some diseases in Harare, Shana said.

Business ground to a halt at around 11am as the court officials trickled out of the building while police officers barred members of the public from entering the court complex.

All courts were forced to defer cases to later dates and it was not clear when business would resume, given the crisis was triggered by burst Harare Municipality water pipes which saw the entire courthouse going without supplies for over a week.

The burst pipes were reported to be in the Kopje area and had not been attended to by city authorities for over a week, raising fears the problem could cause a huge backlog of court cases if not urgently attended to.

The Harare Magistrates Court was recently refurbished with the water systems overhauled after the JSC took over the administration of the courts.

However, the water crisis, largely blamed for the typhoid outbreak in the capital, has virtually scuttled all the progressive work at the courts.

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