By Wilbert Mukori| “COVID-19 is our common en
emy. We must declare war on this virus. That means countries have a responsibility to gear up, step up and scale up,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
“How? By implementing effective containment strategies; by activating and enhancing emergency response systems; by dramatically increasing testing capacity and care for patients; by readying hospitals, ensuring they have the space, supplies and needed personnel; and by developing life-saving medical interventions.”
It is all very well for you to advise us to “activate and enhance emergency response systems; etc; etc.” You are just wasting your breath because, in Zimbabwe, we cannot do any of these things. Our healthcare services have all but collapsed.
Decades of poor funding have left this basic human service with poorly paid staff most who’ve long left the profession and the few still working can only afford to come to work 2 days a week. There is no equipment and no medicine. It is very common for even the big referral hospitals to run out of something as basic as painkillers and to have no running clean water and electricity for days or weeks on end.
One can only imagine the sorry state of the clinics and hospitals in the rural backwaters!
“The most vulnerable are the most affected – particularly our elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions, those without access to reliable health care, and those in poverty or living on the edge,” acknowledged Secretary General Guterres.
You are right there Mr Secretary General, in Zimbabwe, unemployment has been a nauseating; 90% for the last decade; at least the economy has collapsed and millions are living on the edge with 34% of the population, according to a WB report last year, are living “in extreme poverty.” Millions of Zimbabweans are utterly defenceless against this new enemy, Coronavirus.
40 years ago, when the country attained her independence, Zimbabwe had a robust economy with some of the best health-care services in the world. Four decades of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption that have systematically destroyed the nation’s economy, basic services such as health care, everything.
Zimbabwe could have been saved from the ravages of four decades of corrupt and tyrannical misrule if the people of Zimbabwe were not denied their democratic right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country as stipulated in Article 21 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.”
Covid-19 is any pandemic , a common enemy for us all and yet we know there are some who will be better equipped to defend themselves than others and yet others will be utterly defenceless – they are sitting ducks!
Of course, the UN has known these last 40 years that Zanu PF has been rigging elections to stay in power and rob the nation blind and in contemptuous disregard of the UN UDHR. The UN has turned a blind eye to Zanu PF’s brutal oppression and a deaf ear to the ordinary people crying out for justice, freedom, human rights and dignity.
“Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts (of the Second World War) which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,” reads the UN UDHR preamble.
The most barbaric and heartbreaking story to emerge out of this Coronavirus outbreak will be of the hundreds of thousands of lives lost unnecessarily for lack of clean running water to wash their hands! A damning testimonial in failed leadership and a damning testimonial on those tasked to champion human rights but are instead cheering and applauding the tyrants!
If the poor and voiceless from the developing countries had a voice then they would be demanding that the post Covid-19 UN must be reformed if it is to fulfill its mandate delivering all the freedoms and rights in the UDHR. Because, as far as the people Zimbabwe and many others in the developing countries are concerned, the UN has provided a platform for our tyrannical leader to pontificate about freedoms and human rights with no intention of honouring any of it. – SOURCE: zimbabwelight.blogspot.com