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  • Health Crisis - Focus on Cholera and Anthrax - Index of articles

  • Residents sue ZINWA over cholera deaths
    The Zimbabwe Times
    November 24, 2008

    More than 100 residents of Harare's Budiriro suburb and Chitungwiza are filing a law suit and claiming damages of up to $2 hexilion against the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) over the cholera epidemic which has claimed the lives of their relatives.

    The lawsuit will be filed in the High Court in Harare this week by law firm Mucheche and Matsikidze Legal Practioners, acting on behalf of the residents.

    The lawsuit seeks to have ZINWA relieved of its responsibilities for having failed to provide safe and clean water in the urban centres of Zimbabwe, leading to the outbreak of the deadly disease.

    "We have been approached by twenty families from Budiriro in Harare who have lost relatives in the current cholera outbreak. The chairman of Chitungwiza Residents Association (CRA) has also approached us.

    "We are now compiling the names of relatives of victims who intent to be covered under this law suit," said Rogers Matsikidze of Mucheche and Matsikidze. "We are looking at well over a hundred cases."

    Matsikidze said ZINWA would have 21 days to admit or deny that it has failed to deliver water to residents. It will be further argued that the responsibility for water provision and administration be returned to the local authorities.

    ZINWA was launched soon after the controversial 2000 parliamentary elections. Many observers now view it as a dangerous and costly political experiment.

    Health and Child Welfare Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa has admitted that 281 people have succumbed to cholera from September to date. Independent health analysts say the disease has killed at least 300.

    Parirenyatwa said: "We are concerned about the unavailability of water and as the minister responsible for health I am very scared, especially during this rainy season."

    The World Health Organization (WHO) says over 6 000 people have been affected by cholera since August.

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