by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – CIVIL society and human rights organisations in Zimbabwe have held the government accountable for the death of scores of people from cholera.
About 30 people have died following the latest outbreak that erupted at the beginning of September.
The Civil Society Health Emergency Response Coordinating Committee
(CSHERCC) stated it held the government, through its local authorities and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA), accountable for the deaths of people as they have failed to provide basic health services, medical treatment and services.
Authorities are blamed for failing to supply clean running water and
sanitary services to residents and failing to adequately respond to and
contain the spread of the waterborne disease.
“Failure by government to guarantee the right to health is a serious
violation of both local and international law,” the civil society and
human rights coalition stated.
They said the failure by government to swiftly respond to the cholera
epidemic was an unacceptable failure of leadership and represented a
failure to uphold its constitutional obligations as provided in the
constitution, regional and international instruments.
“Government must understand that human health and quality of life is at
the centre of international efforts to develop sustainable communities and
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has declared a state of emergency.
Recurrent outbreaks of cholera are linked to the collapsed health system
as well as collapsing infrastructure after decades of economic decline.
More than 4 000 people died in the worst outbreak of cholera in Zimbabwe in 2008.
– CAJ News