Day 2 of the Zimbabwe Lockdown is once again characterised by the large scale support of Zimbabwean citizens who stayed at home and were possible sought to stay away from public spaces as much they could. As we navigate through the lockdown together, we continue to call upon Zimbabweans to, stay at home, practice social distancing and stay away from public spaces and places.
Concerned by continuing reports nationwide of communities struggling to access water amidst a public health pandemic that calls for the highest levels of sanitisation. Noting with grave concern, that each day upon which administrative and operation delays persist in providing the same, literally place the lives of Zimbabweans at risk and threatened the national goals of the lockdown.
Appreciating that central Government through directing Ministry of Finance to ensure resourcing provision of water purification chemicals has sought to support and partner with Local Authorities in the access to water treatment chemical, we call upon the Government at all levels to actively and practically take step to provide and inform citizens of the practical measures to provide bulk safe water. Calling upon urgent intervention to protect communities from water barons. In real terms, it is critical that Government urgently;
- Publicize the proposed practical mechanisms of safe water delivery to communities and households.
- Deploy police officers at Communal Water Points urgently to supervise the water point and to enforce social distancing at these points.
- Deployment of Police at bulk water deliveries points to ensure social distance at water points
- Expedite decongesting water points initiative to ensure manning of more water points to improve access to water
We also note the positive contribution made by the Judiciary today in ruling progressively for the immediacy to providing access to water for communities.
Calling upon the Zimbabwe Republic Police to publicise the mechanisms to report the limited instances wherein members of the public have complaints about police conduct during this deployment
Drawing attention to the WCOZ press statement issued today on the transparency and accountability of the deployment of security services. Remaining concerned on the training and guidelines for deployed security officers on gender security awareness and responsiveness. Particularly when the deployment of Security Servicesin the past has raised serious concerns on their ability to provide their services whilst respecting the rights of women directly.
Aware that countries which have undergone the first wave of the COVID-19, have reported a three (3) fold increase in Gender Based Violence (GBV) during mass quarantines periods, wherein homes essentially become prisons’ for women, we recommend the proactiveness of the Government in regards to this by undertaking the following;
- All GBV shelters to be designated as essential services, to be manned and provide services during this period whilst respecting rules of sanitisation, self-isolation and social distancing.
- The development of the GBV hotline to compliment the COVID-19 ‘2019’ hotline. If this is not possible WCoZ stands ready to provide such a hotline and requests the applicable clearances to man and provide such support during this time.
Noting the Charing of the Inter-Ministerial Committee by the Vice President Hon. K Mohadi. Applauding the detailed sharing of information in the Post-Cabinet-Briefing and noting the announcement of the changes in briefing schedule we look forward to daily updates on COVID19 which demonstrates international best practices in national management of outbreak through continued, frequent communication and information exchanges between policy makers and the public. Noting the approval of the Plan of Action by Cabinet today which facilitates administrative and operation processes to escalate and expedite the national response to COVID19.
Whilst saluting the education institutions in the country who have escalated their ability to produce critically required personal protective clothing we remain concerned on the availability of the same to frontline healthcare workers and the police on COVID19 deployment right now.
Appreciating the provincial deployment of ZUPCO buses supporting public transportation of essential service personnel and in anticipation of the rigorous approach that the Public Service Commission will adopt to track and ensure the inspection, sanitisation and respect of social distancing regulations in the public transport system.
We welcome the recognition of the need to support the urban vulnerable in particular through the provision of immediate cash transfers support to those made vulnerable by loss of income and livelihoods due to the COVID19 pandemic. We are alive to the Registration of vulnerable communities by Ministry of Labour and Welfare which we anticipate will be equitable and rapidly escalated to ensure social protection is immediate.
We welcome the partnering of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare with Civil Society to collaborate and coordinate on the National Reponses to COVID19.
We further anticipate the rapid mapping, upgrading and strengthening of the 5 central referral hospitals, the 10 provincial hospitals and the 52 district hospitals collaboratively by various partners in central government
We appreciate the plans for the escalation of the testing services for the COVID19
We remain attentive to the progress report on the tracing and monitoring of the at least 13 000 returning residents.
We appreciate the immediate economic measures announced by the Ministry of Finance on COVID19 we remain engaged and await additional measures to strengthen the social protection measures to be taken by Zimbabwe in a progressively accountable and transparent manner.
We salute the healthcare workers who are continuing to show up for duty and undertake their responsibilities in the frontlines under extremely difficult conditions
We remain organized, mobilized and committed to work to progressively compliment the fight against the Corona Pandemic with the Government of Zimbabwe at all levels.
Source: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)