BY LORRAINE MUROMO/ PRECIOUS CHIDA
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has bemoaned government’s haphazard response to COVID -19 and lack of preparedness.
In a statement, CiZC regional co-ordinator Blessing Vava lamented the poor state of the public health institutions and government’s failure to fund the fight against COVID-19.
“It is disappointing to note that the government’s response to COVID-19 has been haphazard, with lots of misinformation while the out of sorts President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been running all over like a headless chicken. It seems there is no strategy and a clear roadmap, on how the nation is going to progress post lockdown,” he said.
“The Health ministry has been reduced to giving statistics on the number of infections without adequately proffering practical solutions to curb the spread of COVID-19. Despite imposing a lockdown which has rather failed due to the socio-economic structure of our society, many Zimbabweans continue to be at risk as the struggle for economic survival is a daily reality. Over 70% of Zimbabweans are living in poverty. A lockdown that is not supported by a rigorous COVID-19 testing programme will unfortunately just be a tick-box exercise.”
Human rights lobby group, National Transitional Justice Working Group also challenged government to strive to improve citizens’ welfare without being coerced by courts or external forces.
Government was recently ordered by the court to provide protective clothing to healthcare workers and security officers enforcing the lockdown order after being taken to court by the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights.
“Government does not have to wait for court orders or external pressure for basic measures to be rolled out, as the High Court had to order in the case of Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights v Minister of Health and others.”
“Today, we come face to face with the consequences of a socio-economic and rule of law infrastructure that does not conduce to the best possible response to a disaster of COVID-19 proportions, the lobby group said.