Govt must honour pledge to cushion vulnerable groups: ZHRC

Zimbabwe Human Right Commission (ZHRC) has urged the Government to honour its pledge and commitment to providing cushioning allowances for informal traders and other vulnerable groups.

The government reintroduced a stricter national lockdown to control the combat the spread of Covid-19 following a spike in infections and fatalities during the festive season.

To date, the country has recorded 25368 cases, 636 deaths and 14714 recoveries.

Last year, when the national lockdown was first introduced, the government had promised to cushion the informal sector, youths and small businesses among other vulnerable groups that were affected by the pandemic.

“However, as of December 2020, ZHRC noted with concern that these pledges were yet to be fulfilled resulting in some people struggling to access food, among other necessities,” ZHRC said in a statement.

The commission also noted that in the previous lockdown period residents had challenges in accessing clean and portable water “and there is nothing in the current prevention, containment and treatment measures taken by the government to address this challenge.”

ZHRC also pointed out that the current measures were not clear on how the government will improve the capacity of the health sector to handle the surging Covid-19 cases.

On the education sector, ZHRC said it was concerned with the continued compromise of the right to education due to the lockdown measures.

“Lack of access to education disproportionately affected children from low income families as well as those living in difficult circumstances,” the commission noted.

The Commission further noted that “the lockdown measures alone, without the attendant provision of basic economic, social and cultural amenities fall short of the standard anticipated by the Constitution.”

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