Human Rights watchdog, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has accused the government of lacking seriousness in its COVID-19 response.
In its COVID-19 accountability tracker that seeks to highlight abuse of authority, rampant corruption, poor public accountability mechanisms and lack of transparency, ZPP says the Government is not displaying seriousness.
“The pandemic is with the world for the foreseeable future. The government of Zimbabwe is not displaying the level of seriousness that other regimes and countries are displaying. The response to the pandemic is clearly not being informed by technical and scientific approaches. Empowerment of scientific and medical personnel to lead in the response will instill confidence,” said ZPP
ZPP said years of ineffectiveness in the Health Ministry coupled with a security driven response has created a deepening mistrust of the government.
“The Ministry of Health as the lead actor has suffered years of incompetence, and incapacity to respond to health pandemics. The perception of heavily controlled, and militarized or security driven response, creates fear, anxiety and deepens mistrust of the government.
“The control of information, criminalisation of “fake information” while pervasive globally is not a solution. Relevant authorities must increase transparency through provision of reliable and regular information through all channels and in accessible languages,” said ZPP
The pressure group decried Statutory Instrument 25 of 2021 which it says gave law enforcement officers an edge for many forms of corruption, ranging from extortion, sextortion and bribes, “Of note is level 3 offences fine that shot from ZWL500 to ZWL5, 000, which is a 900% increase.”
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