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Where are the rights to health and shelter
Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA)
November 24, 2013

A news piece on the Daily News of 5 November 2013 highlights the plight indigent families, particularly women face in accessing life saving medical treatment. Unashamedly, our leaders have the means to seek medical treatment abroad while shunning local government hospitals whose standards have deteriorated.

As Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association, we urge the new Government to priorities revamping the health delivery sector, by ensuring that competent personnel are paid competitive salaries to curb brain drain. We also recommend that there be more cancer screening and treatment centres with affordable prices in the country to avoid parents turning to beggars in order to sent their children outside of Zimbabwe for treatment.

Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association also takes this opportunity to highlight that chronic and other debilitating diseases affect women more negatively as the burden of care becomes their sole responsibility. We remind the Government of its commitments and obligations in the new Constitution which guaranteed every citizen the right to health-care services.

Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association also notes with great concern the recent announcement by the Government of Zimbabwe in the media to demolish thousands of houses in Harare and Chitungwiza.

The organization urges the Government to put mitigatory measures in place in order not to render citizens destitute and exposed to the elements of the rainy season. The new Constitution is clear that every person has a right to dignity, decent housing and shelter. Lessons ZLWA learnt from the 2005 Operation Murambatsvina show that such internal displacements affect women and children adversely. We urge the government to put in place a plan of affordable housing for all before violating indigent citizen’s right to basic shelter.

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