EVERY “citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has the right to access basic healthcare services, which include reproductive healthcare services”, says Section 76(1) of the country’s Constitution.
The same Constitution also directs that the country’s children have the right to health, education, family life, play and recreation, an adequate standard of living and to be protected from abuse and harm.
It then comes as somewhat shocking when we get some citizens, in the Apostolic sect fraternity, who are determined to continue thumbing their noses at the country’s supreme law by denying others access to health because they are being allowed to freely walk this land. They even have the audacity to brag about it.
Even more shocking is the fact that these people have become so brazen that they are literally sentencing innocent people to death in the name of religion and they seem to be above the law because government is doing absolutely nothing about it.
Zimbabwe is currently riding a dangerous measles wave whose numbers are threatening to surpass the COVID-19 pandemic figures, yet, strangely, the authorities appear unperturbed that there is quite a large section of the population that is refusing to have its children vaccinated.
Curiously, these are the same people who again exposed every citizen in the country to serious risk of contracting COVID-19 when it struck in 2020 after they refused to be vaccinated or wear masks. Although they later started wearing masks, nothing happened to them in terms of refusing to be vaccinated.
We believe it is high time the country made a clear decision on this group of people whose religious beliefs are a real threat to the lives of every citizen in the country. What makes this a national concern is that this group of people does not lives in isolation, but live among millions other citizens who do not believe in their doctrines.
If they were an isolated people, living exclusively on their own on some island or secluded forest, we would not even bother ourselves about what they want to do with their lives. But because their decision not to be protected from communicable diseases directly impacts on other citizens who have nothing to do with their beliefs, forces us to raise the red flag that something needs to be done about it.
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The law of the land should be all encompassing that there should never be a situation whereby some citizens are allowed to disregard the supreme law and get away with it. What is currently happening regarding the apostolic sects’ refusal to have their children vaccinated is a total mockery to not only the Constitution, but of all other citizens who religiously respect the supreme law of the land.
At this rate, lawlessness can easily manifest and the nation is a sitting duck to bigger and more ferocious plagues.