Harare residents have expressed concern over Harare City’s decision to challenge a High Court order granted early this month to open all the local authority’s clinics that were shutdown due to lack of resources.
Justice Edith Mushore granted a high Court Order compelling Harare City to open its 42 council clinics after the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) had filed an application seeking to reverse the action.
The clinics were closed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in July with council citing a shortage of medical supplies and nurses but since the court order was issued no clinic has opened to date.
Addressing journalists in Harare this morning, CHRA director Lorraine Mupasiri-Sani said the appeal by Harare City shows that it is not willing to re-open the clinics.
“The Appeal by the Harare City Council to challenge the Order clearly shows that Council is not willing to re-open the clinics and improve health delivery in the City. The City has been captured by self-serving individuals masquerading as public officials both elected and non-elected,”
“We are aware of the machinations behind the Court challenge which are meant to water down the High Court Order as well as buy time in complying with the Order, which was granted in favor of the residents.” said Mupasiri-Sani.
In their court papers the City of Harare cited that the High Court erred in concluding that the application was urgent when the time and consequence factors of urgency were not satisfied.
Council further argues that the court misdirected itself in granting an order without considering the impossibility of performance due to unavailability of performance due to unavailable and limited resource.
The development has left residents of Harare in dire strain in accessing healthcare services and women and girls have been adversely affected, said Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe health committee chairperson, Maria Chiwera.
“Women and girls have specific health needs and health systems in the country are failing them yet the World Health Organisation has made it clear time after time that women’s health is an urgent priority. The right to health is sacrosanct with that to life and dignity yet our women and girls have long been vulnerable to human rights abuses and suffer poor health outcomes as a result, the closure of these clinics in the city being one of them.” said Chiwera.