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Mbare houses declared a state of emergency

by Staff reporter
07 Jun 2023 at 06:03hrs | Views
Mbare's New Line area has been declared a state of emergency by the Government which has subsequently ordered that devolution funds be redirected to refurbish housing, sewer systems and enhance garbage collection in the area.

Families in the most dilapidated houses will be profiled and provided with temporary shelter while their houses are demolished to pave way for the construction of blocks of flats, this came out during the post-Cabinet briefing yesterday.

The decision comes as the Second Republic makes concerted efforts to combat the cholera outbreak, which has seen Zimbabwe recording over 2 000 cases and 15 deaths so far.

Treasury and the Ministry of Health and Child Care have since been directed to expedite the release of funds to facilitate a comprehensive response to the cholera outbreak.

Speaking at a post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Acting Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere, said the Harare City Council had deprived residents of service delivery, hence Government's decision to intervene and act on the serious health hazard.

"Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that a fact-finding visit to the New Lines area in Mbare, Harare, by the Ministers of National Housing and Social Amenities, and Industry and Commerce, as well as officials from the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, and City of Harare, revealed that the situation is dire and requires immediate intervention.

"Some of the problems are that the Harare City Council, which charges monthly rentals of US$100 per room, is not carrying out any repairs and maintenance and blockages are attended to by volunteers," he said.

Attorney-General, Advocate Prince Machaya, weighed in saying that the state of emergency declaration by Cabinet was not based on any legal provisions, but was necessitated by the dire situation in Mbare.

"What Cabinet agreed was that the situation in the New Lines area has become so dire that it has become a situation of emergency which needs to be attended to immediately.

"It was not a declaration under the Civil Protection Act, Cabinet merely noted that this was a situation that needed immediate action because the houses in that area were built a long time ago, in 1912. They have communal toilets which do not function properly resulting in sewage flowing onto the street, garbage goes uncollected and the houses themselves need attention," said Adv Machaya.

Minister Muswere said the Ministry of Health and Child Care has now been directed to ensure health and safety in the area.

The Government, he said, would employ a multi-sectoral approach in combating the cholera outbreak not only in Mbare, but countrywide.

Minister Muswere said in light of the continued increase in cholera cases, Cabinet has resolved that the multi-sectoral approach to responding to the outbreak be continued with a focus to address water and sanitation.

The Ministry of Health, working closely with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, will intensify timely releases of funds to facilitate the cholera comprehensive response.

Zimbabwe has so far recorded 2 076 cases, with 1 942 recoveries and 15 deaths, reflecting a case fatality rate of 2,3 percent.

All 10 provinces have reported suspected cholera cases with Manicaland, Harare and Matebeleland South provinces contributing 83 percent of the cases.

Cholera confirmed deaths have been recorded in Harare (3), Manicaland (8), Mashonaland Central (2), Mashonaland West (1) and Masvingo (1).

Meanwhile, Government has also directed that Covid-19 surveillance be integrated with that of other respiratory diseases in the wake of increased respiratory infections during the winter season.

Minister Muswere said the pandemic remains under control, but the nation is encouraged to continue prioritising vaccination activities.

He said Cabinet resolved that vaccination be intensified in all provinces, supported by the Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, and that communities prioritise getting vaccinated, while protecting themselves by adhering to all recommended Covid-19 public health and social measures.

Source - The Herald
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