October 14, 2020

Harare Defies Court Order on Clinics

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Kimberleigh Jiro

Harare residents continue facing challenges in accessing primary health care as more than half of the city council run clinics remain closed.

This has put pressure on referral hospitals in the city. The clinics remain closed despite a high court order last week, compelling the local authority to open all its clinics by Wednesday.

Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume said although judgement has been passed they have not yet been served with the court order.

“We will look at other logistical issues that have been hindering the opening of the clinics, Once we are served with the court order we will endeavour to comply with the court order within 7 days.

If there are any challenges obviously we will have to go back to court and explain those challenges but primary health care is a basic right in our view and as a municipality we owe it to our residents to open the clinics and it is unfortunate that they have been shut.”

However, residents’ lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara accused the Mayor of not being sincere.

“It is a bit ingenious and insincere if council were to suggest that they are not making efforts or taking measures with a court order that they know exists. The order was handed down on the 7th of October this year in the presence of council lawyers.

The lawyers were acting for and on behalf of council. I advised my clients that if there is no compliance by end of day they should bring the evidence to us so we can institute proceedings”, said Advocate Bhatasara.

A large number of health care workers in council clinics are not reporting for duty as they say they do not have personal protective equipment (PPEs) to protect themselves from Covid-19 and they also want their wages to be reviewed.

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