By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has written to Health Minister Obadiah Moyo demanding reliable information to the public confirming the possible outbreak of coronavirus in the country.
The lawyers’ group also wants the minister to provide the number of infections that have been seen at the health centres and the places where such patients have been and where they may have contracted the virus.
This comes after government has, according to critics, failed to treat the threat posed by the deadly disease with the urgency it deserves.
“We are both appalled and very concerned at your appearance of indifference to the real threat of this deadly virus,” wrote Godfrey Mupanga on behalf of ZLHR.
“We are on the view that as a Government Ministry, you are under an obligation arising from the operation of the law, in particular the Constitution of Zimbabwe to publish reliable information through posters, fliers, public meetings and through other mass media to the public of any concrete steps that the Ministry has taken to deal with public health threat that is posed by the exposure of the country to the deadly virus.
“We will be happy to distribute any materials using our large countrywide networks.”
Mupanga also wrote that given the extensive human and air traffic between Zimbabwe, China and other countries where the virus has killed thousands, Zimbabwe is under considerable threat.
“Yet, it cannot be denied by any right-thinking person that in recent times our public health services have seriously deteriorated.”
Mupanga has given the Minister one week from the date of receiving his letter to see movement with respect to providing the public information.
“If we do not at least hear from you regarding the steps that you wish to take to fulfil your obligation and the timeline for such steps, needless to mention that…we will consider all the options that are available to us to obtain the necessary remedies to ensure that you comply with your obligations and make information on the Corona virus is available to all members of the public.”