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Residents associations gang up to challenge govt on COVID-19

by Stephen Jakes
18 Mar 2020 at 08:40hrs | Views
Residents associations across the country have ganged up to call on the government and responsible authorities to act on the COVID-19 preparedness.

In a statement residents associations (RAs) from across the country said they  have noted with concern the lack of dissemination of relevant information to the public by government and other responsible authorities on the state of preparedness in the country on the Covid-19 situation.

"Recent sentiments by the Minister of Defence in Chinhoyi insinuating that the corona virus pandemic is a punishment executed by God to nations that have imposed economic restrictions on Zimbabwe further exposes how as a country we are taking the Covid-19 situation lightly and exacerbates the worries by many RAs," RAs said.

"The fact that Zimbabwe has not officially recorded any positive case of Covid-19 but only responded to 7 suspected cases which have all tested negative does not mean that as a country we are safe and not in danger. The increase in the number of suspected cases in our neighbouring country and biggest trading partner, South Africa, further exposes Zimbabwe to the spread of the Covid-19 virus considering the huge flow of human traffic on a daily basis between these two countries."

They said the fresh suspected cases in Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Harare are a call to the government, other responsible authorities such as medical centres, local authorities, immigration controls, the media and interested stakeholders to intensify the state of preparedness for the Covid-19 situation and mitigatory interventions.

"The under listed RAs implore the government to consider the following mechanisms: To develop a comprehensive contingency plan in case the Covid-19 tests positive in the country, To increase public health-related information dissemination and raise awareness on the Covid-19 countrywide especially in the peri-urban and rural areas," they said.

"To consider temporarily closing schools and institutions of higher learning as a measure of reducing the risk of spreading the virus, To issue an immediate ban on huge social gatherings that can be avoided such as weddings, seminars and others, To limit unnecessary travel to risk destinations and increase border controls. RAs stand in solidarity with nations, families and colleagues that have had positive cases of the Covid-19 virus and those that have lost their loved ones through this pandemic."

RAs urge the government of Zimbabwe to ensure that there is a message discipline from our public officials in relation to Covid-19 situation as cheap propaganda and reckless statements will not assist the nation but only serve to alienate Zimbabwe from the global family.

"Local authorities are also commended to create safe and hygienic conditions for citizens through improving the water supply situation, sanitation and hygiene. Mobile tanks and water bowsers should be put in public places to increase hygiene. Hand sanitizers should also be put in public toilets and be made a requirement for public and other business premises to have hand sanitizers on their entrances so that people can use as they enter. The state of service delivery needs to be improved as the country enters into a fight against the spread of this pandemic considering the rate at which the SADC region has recorded cases of the Covid-19 virus," RAs said.

The RAs involved are listed as follows:

1. Berina Residents Association
2. Bindura Residents Association (BIRA)
3. Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA)
4. Chinhoyi Residents Trust (CRT)
5. Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association (CAMERA)
6. Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST)
7. Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
8. Combined Mvurwi Residents and Ratepayers Association
9. Community Water Alliance (CWA)
10. Greater Ruwa Residents Association
11. Gutu United Residents and Ratepayers Association (GURRA)  
12. Gwanda Residents Association  
13. Gweru Residents Forum (GRF)
14. Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA)  
15. Hwange Residents Association  
16. Kariba Urban Residents and Ratepayers Association (KURRA)
17. Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA)
18. United Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (UCHIRRA)
19. United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Association (UMRRT)
20. Wedza Residents Development Trust (WERDIT)

Source - Byo24News