(Last Updated on February 11, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – ZimRights, a local human rights group has intensified it’s challenge on the government’s Covid-19 vaccination plan, this time saying it is unconstitutional.
Recently, the rights group had an urgent application filed demanding the government to publish a comprehensive vaccination plan hit a snag after the High Court determined that the issue was not urgent.
During a recent post-cabinet brief by Information minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, she outlined some cabinet approved guidelines for the Covid-19 vaccination plan.
However, in a statement after the cabinet brief, ZimRights said the programme failed to meet the constitutional demands needed to protect the right to life.
“ZimRights has approached the High Court demanding a comprehensive vaccine roll-out plan including details of the budget allocations. Throwing figures that have no source and details of how it is meant to work does not amount to a plan.
“Slogans and declarations do not amount to a plan. Propaganda responses to issues of life and death only show culpable negligence on the side of our national leadership,” said ZimRights in their statement.
The group further noted that different provisions of the Constitution protected the right to life and gave a mandate to the government to ensure this right is protected adding that the government should not wait on donors.
“Section 76 of the Zimbabwean Constitution provides for the right to health. Section 29 of the same Constitution creates an obligation on the state to take reasonable measures to ensure everyone achieves access to health services. Access to safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 is therefore a human right for all Zimbabweans.
“The health of a nation must be a matter of high priority for any government. Leaving this task to the benevolence of donors and well-wishers is grossly immoral and outrageous,” the statement further said.
ZimRights said they will challenge the High Court decision and also explore other avenues to hold the authorities to account.
“So far, that appears to be the government’s plan. In order to avert a great catastrophe caused by the government’s abdication of its constitutional obligations, ZimRights will leave no stone unturned.
“Today ZimRights will file an appeal against the decision of Justice Chatukuta. Beyond the local legal system, other avenues will be explored to ensure that the right to life and health is protected. ZimRights calls on the people of Zimbabwe not to tire in demanding tangible action from the government.”
The government to date has not provided a clear plan on the vaccination programme, it continues to give fragments of the plan which are sometimes contradictory.