Human rights activist Fadzayi Mahere also shared her thoughts on the situation. She
1. There is a typhoid crisis in Harare that has so far claimed the lives of 9 people.
2. The Government claims not to have $250 000 for refuse collection and rehabilitation services.
3. The Government is asking church leaders and the corporate world to raise money for the collection of garbage.
4. An outbreak of cholera is imminent.
Everything about this picture is problematic. Section 77 of the Constitution guarantees the right to clean, safe water while section 76 provides for the right to basic healthcare. Section 73(1)(a) gives us the right to an environment that is not harmful to our health.
It’s a matter of regret that human life is being lost owing to the failure by our public administrators to manage the system. With the amounts of money that are spent on cars, foreign trips, rings, football clubs and other matters that are not matters of life and death by the government and Harare City Council, we have an obligation to hold those in charge to account.
How does an entire government ask a church leader to fund something as basic as refuse collection in circumstances where there is a fatal public health emergency? Why is there no budget for basic utilities? Over 2000 people have been affected by the typhoid outbreak so far; how many need to die before the public develops a sense of outrage over this embarrassing and tragic unfolding of events?
I hope we are aware that we have a government that will not need a single donor to fund the purchase of teargas, baton sticks and police cars but will cry out to a church leader for an amount of money that could not even purchase one of their homes – to fund an emergency response to an emergency health crisis caused by their mismanagement.
We have a massive problem, countrymen. I hope we are not too jaded to realise this. Or do we not care because it’s not directly on our doorstep?