Zimbabwe in Lockdown: COVID-19 & Human Rights from a community perspective – April 2020 Monthly Monitoring Report

April 2020 started off on a note of national uncertainty. The government of Zimbabwe had just declared a countrywide lockdown in an attempt to contain the spread of the Corona Virus of 2019. Across the world, the highly contagious COVID19 pandemic was spreading like wildfire and while the Zimbabwean Government had initially taken a backseat approach, the death of the first person to be diagnosed with the disease, prominent journalist Zororo Makamba on 23 March, seemed like a wake up call.

Subsequently, government declared that the country would be on a strict lockdown for 21 days from March 30 to April 19. This meant that all businesses, except essential service providers, were to cease operations and that people were to stay at home.

There was no doubt the measures that government was to implement were to have human rights implications and the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), through its monitors continued to look out for any human rights violations that would occur during this period of uncertainty and anxiety.

As such, the right to personal liberty, the right to health, right to social protection, among others, were on the spotlight as government announced the intention to deploy the state security agents to enforce the lockdown.

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Source: Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP)