Campaigners for Human Rights

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Campaigners for Human Rights

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Human Rights

COVID 19 Response

Their Voices Matter - Community Responses to Covid 19 Measures: Week 7

blog-contentThis is the seventh and last edition of our ‘Their Voices Matter’ series. In this series we have documented the experiencing of ordinary people as they responded to COVID-19 measures. In this our concluding edition, we reflect on some of the most powerful encounters that we have had with Zimbabweans in our communities. These are stories of hope and stories of pain and anguish. We share these stories because they show us the humanity in human rights. In the words of author Laurie Halse Anderson, “when people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time.”

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Their Voices Matter - Community Responses to Covid 19 Measures: Week 6

blog-contentSeveral human rights issues emerged during the sixth week of the extended lockdown as more businesses began to operate and government made little progress in providing adequate social safety nets to the millions affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Notably business, small and large, began operating, and this brought into focus the issue of business and human rights, including labour rights.

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Their Voices Matter - Community Responses to Covid 19 Measures: Week 5

blog-contentZimbabwe entered into the fifth week of the lockdown, amid uncertainty over what would become of the country’s economy and other sectors that had already endured five weeks of no operations.

The major human rights issue emerging during this period was the growing fear that government was failing to deal with the emerging need for social support to the millions of Zimbabweans who had been directly and indirectly affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

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Their Voices Matter - Community Responses to Covid 19 Measures: Week 4

blog-contentZimbabwe entered into the 4th week of the lockdown, after it had been extended by a further 2 weeks by the President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa. The extension came with relaxations to allow the mining and manufacturing sectors to resume operations in the spirit of rescuscitating the economy.

Sadly, in as much as the COVID-19 is relentless, Zimbabwe’s state of preparedness is still wanting and the government is yet to scale-up the number of tests it has to make and is falling behind its target of testing 40 000 people by 30 April 2020.

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Their Voices Matter - Community Responses to Covid 19 Measures: Week 3

blog-contentAs the lockdown entered the third week in Zimbabwe, ZimRights members continue to share the experiences of how their communities are dealing with the COVID 19 measures. In this report we document how these measures have impacted women and other marginalized groups. In the context of Zimbabwe, women make the largest number of people working in the informal sector. Since Zimbabwe went on a 21-day lockdown meant to contain the spread of COVID19, it is the informal sector that has been affected most. This is because the income in the informal sector is often too little and leaves no room for savings, meaning that 21 days without any work renders many bust. With 64 percent of women in the informal sector, it is clear that they are the most affected group.

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Their Voices Matter - Community Responses to Covid 19 Measures: Week 2

blog-contentIn the second week of the COVID-19 lockdown in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) members continued to speak out on their experiences at community level. Two more deaths were recorded in the week under unclear circumstances. This raised concern about government’s preparedness to test, treat and manage the disease. It was also this week that reports of police brutality targeting citizens filtered in with at least one person being killed in Bulawayo. There were reports of partisan aid distribution, and selective listing of beneficiaries of the government funds to cushion those in the informal sector. At national level, doctors, lawyers and media practitioners resorted to litigation to force government to act on human rights concerns raised during the lockdown. In this report, we capture how ordinary Zimbabweans interacted with these developments from a human rights perspective and discuss possible remedies to their concerns.

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Their Voices Matter - Community Responses to Covid 19 Measures: Week 1

blog-contentThe world has been turned upside down by the COVID 19 pandemic. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has since pointed out that the world has recorded more than 680 000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 203 countries as of 29 March 2020. Italy, China, Spain and United States recorded more than 40 000 deaths and the numbers are increasing daily. In the first 3 months of the pandemic, the global economy has lost around USD3,2 trillion.

Economists predict that if the pandemic is not stopped by August 2020, the world will plunge into a recession much much worse than 1929.

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