By Robert Tapfumaneyi
A Harare resident on Saturday filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking an order to stop businessman Kuda Tagwirei’s Sakunda Holdings from renovating and upgrading an abandoned hospital into a specialised coronavirus medical facility in Mt Pleasant.
The medical centre is reported to be targeted for senior government officials and top politicians suffering from the deadly virus. Covid-19 has to date seen the country confirm seven cases and one death.
In his application, Roger Stringer, a resident of Mt Pleasant, protested the renovation and upgrading of Rock Foundation Medical Facility, which according to media reports is being turned into an isolation centre for the admission and treatment of patients suffering from coronavirus.
The facility is owned by jailed former Zanu PF legislator and businessman Munyaradzi Kereke.
Stringer, who resides at a property adjacent to the medical facility, is apprehensive he is being exposed to the risk of contracting coronavirus should the hospital be used for treating patients with coronavirus.
He said his right to an environment that is not harmful to his health or well-being was about to be violated.
He further argued that Sakunda Holdings and Health Minister Obadiah Moyo were not authorised by law to violate his entitlement to the protection of the law.
He insists he has a right to be consulted as a resident in Mt Pleasant suburb.
Stringer, a film producer, argued that no measures had been or are being put in place to minimise the risk to himself, his family and other residents brought upon by the use of such a facility as a referral centre for an infectious disease.
He said the site for the medical facility is connected to a reticulated sewer main across Norfolk Road in Mt Pleasant suburb.
The system, he argued, is intertwined with water supply and with the same sewer reticulation mains which service his household.
This, he said, put him and his family at greater risk of contracting the highly infectious coronavirus.
Stringer said Sakunda Holdings and Moyo can make use of other established facilities for infectious diseases such as Wilkins Hospital and Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital, both run by City of Harare.
He argued the two facilities have not yet been proven to be inadequate for purposes of containing the deadly outbreak.
He is being represented by lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).