Chitown ordered to provide workers with PPE

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BY CHARLES LAITON

THE High Court has ordered Chitungwiza Municipality to provide healthcare employees with personal protective equipment (PPE) as they lead the fight against coronavirus.

The order was issued by Justice Sylvia Chirawu-Mugomba following an application by the Chitungwiza Municipal Workers Union and Trustees of the Chitungwiza Residents Trust, who were represented by Denford Halimani.

The urgent application was filed after Chitungwiza officials threatened to fire all nurses who had earlier protested against working without protective equipment.

“The respondent (Chitungwiza Municipality) is ordered to immediately/forthwith provide adequate personal protective equipment to its employees to protect them against the risk of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19) during the course and scope of their employment save for health employees who are already covered by the Ministry of Health and Child Care,” Justice Chirawu-Mugomba said in the final order issued by consent.

According to court papers, the municipality employs nurses, nurse aides, security personnel and clerks at clinics, those working in sewage, water section, clerks at the area offices where residents pay rates and make general inquiries workers and general hands.

In their founding affidavit, the employees said council had not been forthcoming in addressing issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the provision of personal protective equipment despite engagement.