BY GARIKAI TUNHIRA
Residents and civic society organisations (CSOs) criticised government at a COVID-19 response and preparedness consultative meeting held in Gweru on Friday, saying that it had failed to consider the plight of people living with disabilities in its interventions.
The meeting, organised by the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) in conjunction with the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations, sought to elicit views on government efforts to fight
MAPRORIWEB’s Belinda Msesengwe said government failed to provide Braille material for the visually-impaired.
“We had hoped that we would get Braille material so that we could read and get to understand what coronavirus entailed. Unfortunately, no one bothered to consider our situation. Government should have led in that area,” Msesengwe said.
Rabecca Butau, from the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, bemoaned the neglect by government in cushioning the vulnerable and those rendered jobless because of COVID-19.
“Government was supposed to cushion mostly the vulnerable and workers whose employment was on the line. It was supposed to give employers money so they could pay their employees. Now what is happening is that because of the lockdown and reduced working hours, employees had their leave days taken away and it means they will most likely go into 2021 with their leave days in the minus,” Butau said.
McAuthur Mkwapatira, from Youth Essence, said government had bungled by “prematurely” reopening schools, suggesting it should have, instead, only allowed final examination classes to return to class.
Meanwhile, ZADHR secretary Norman Matara trained teachers at Mudavanhu ZimCare Trust in Mkoba 11 and caregivers and residents at Batanai Old People’s Home on COVID-19 and the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
The rights doctors also donated PPE and medical sundries to the two institutions.
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