MDC-A Senator calls on govt to reach out on artisanal miners

By Nhau Mangirazi

CHEGUTU- Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC-A) Senator
representing Chegutu, Hon Violet Paneari Moketsi has challenged Government to
reach out artisanal miners during Covid-19 lockdown.
Speaking during Hurungwe Community Radio initiative program, Hon Moketsi
bemoaned lack of medication and human resources in the country health delivery
system affecting the mostly rural citizens.
She said, ‘‘Women are the worst affected as every family looks forward to daily
food security among other challenges. We need to brace up for the worst during the
21-day lockdown as our economy can’t hold this challenge at all. We must work
closely on how this global situation can be handled’
She however, was moved by lack of information to mostly artisanal miners in
some outlying areas.
However Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) executive director Itai
Rusike said as lockdown goes underway, the country battling to restrain effects of
Covid-19 many people are succumbing to its side effects.
Rusike said, ‘‘We have several factors affecting our health sector, including
referral restrictions, reduced availability of specialists and established physical
distance between general practitioners and patients. We have also reports of
secondary care where there is less patient contact due to the lockdown restrictions
Hon Moketsi added that artisanal miners must be afforded time to be reached out
during the Covid 21 lockdown.
She said, ‘‘We know that artisanal miners may not take this lockdown seriously
due to misinformation and also being out of touch as those spreading the word may
not include them in their programing. This is a community on its own that needs
patience as they are working hard to improve our economy through gold which is
helping out on the mining sector,’

Hon Moketsi revealed that as much as Zimbabwe Government and Civil Society
Organizations are fighting to reach out some communities, there is need for
artisanal miners to be part of advanced information to help out.
Rusike added that there is a broad message about staying away from health care
facilities but accurate information is critical this time.
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission commended Government for bold decisions
and actions to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the commission said, ‘‘This intervention is considered to be an
effective measure to slow the spread of the Corona virus and protect people in the
country from infection and consequent illness. In spite of the inevitable limitation
of enjoyment of some rights, continued national cooperation in mitigating the
effects of the pandemic is of paramount importance,’ said press statement.
However, the commission remained worried that there is concern on the slow pace
of decentralization of testing facilities to all provinces.
The statement added, ‘‘By now provinces should have been sharing daily updates
of their tested cases and the respective results so that the nation has a holistic
picture of the situation,’