Thursday 25 June 2020 marked day 88 of the national lockdown declared by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and has been in place since 30 March 2020. The Ministry of Health and Child Care reported an increase in the number of confirmed cases to five hundred and fifty-five (551). The number of cumulative tests done stood at sixty-five thousand one hundred and eleven (65 111). Of these, sixty-four thousand five hundred and sixty (64 560) were negative. The number of recoveries increased to one hundred and twenty-eight (128) and the death toll stands at six (6).
Information contained in this report is derived from the following Forum Members:
- Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP)
- Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
- Counselling Services Unit (CSU)
- Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR)
- Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights)
In Bindura, elderly people, persons with disabilities and child herded families received ZWL175.00 via Ecocash and Onemoney as part of the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare food aid program. Beneficiaries have called on the government to provide them with food instead of money due to the drastic loss of value in the currency.
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa launched a nationwide schools COVID-19 disinfection programme, to enable schools to have been thoroughly disinfected throughout the June examination period. Meanwhile, teachers under the ambit of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) have advised they will boycott invigilating the June examinations citing lack of personal protective clothing and proper policies. This decision came after a consultative meeting held at Mbuya Nehanda Hall in Marondera were teachers and parents who attended the meeting agreed that teachers and school children are at risk of contracting COVID-19 if schools open early. The consultative meeting also brought about the dynamic that most parents survive on vending, therefore, there is need for the government to first open the informal sector or vending so that parents have money to pay their children’s fees and needs.
In Harare, it was reported that street vendors are sneaking back into the CBD. Vendors were observed along First Street selling an assortment of products including clothes, cell phones and accessories, while some were roasting green mealies in other parts of the city, blocking traffic and exposing themselves and their clients to COVID-19. This comes after informal traders have been requested to register with the government before they can be allowed to resume operations.
The Special Procurement Oversight Committee (SPOC) distanced itself from the ongoing COVID-19 scandal involving Drax International getting a US$60 million contract to supply medicines and surgical sundries without going to tender. SPOC through a statement indicated that the procurement was done through the Ministry of Health and Child Care in line with a circular issued by the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) in March.
The Masvingo COVID-19 Provincial Spokesperson Rodgers Irimayi has advised that government has banned the isolation of COVID-19 patients at home due to the continuous violation of World Health Organisation (WHO) conditions thereby bringing many people at risk of contracting the virus. Addressing journalists, Mr Irimayi indicated that the government issued the directive last week following concerns that isolated patients were visiting shops, interacting with outsiders and failing to adhere to strict WHO rules. The new regulations now require COVID-19 patients to be isolated at government isolation centres.
Summary of violations
The table below summarises human rights violations documented by the Forum Secretariat and Forum Members from 30 March to 25 June 2020.
|Nature of Violation||Number of Victims||Location|
|Assault||278||Harare, Zvishavane, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Wedza, Chinhoyi, Zaka, Gweru, Chitungwiza, Bindura, Nembudziya, Chiredzi, Marondera, Mutoko, Chivi, Bikita, Zvishavane, Mvurwi, Mutare, Marondera, Beitbridge, Domboshava, Wengezi|
|Attack on Journalists||18||Mutare, Gweru, Chinhoyi, Harare, Chiredzi, Masvingo, Beitbridge|
|Arrests||494||Masvingo, Gokwe, Gweru, Bulawayo, Chinhoyi, Hwange, Harare, Magunje, Lupane, Norton, Bikita, Mutasa, Chitungwiza, Nkayi, Makoni, Chipinge, Beitbridge, Lupane, Tsholotsho, Mwenezi, Guruve, Hwange, Murwi, Kwekwe, Chinhoyi|
|Malicious Damage to Property||2||Harare, Chitungwiza|
The Forum is also concerned about the re-emergence of vendors in the CBD amidst the growing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. This is a major risk factor in the spread of the disease, which comes at a time when cases of infections are on the rise. The Forum urges the government of Zimbabwe to urgently address this issue and ensure the protection of citizens against the infection.
Source: Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (HRForum)