A Harare resident on Saturday filed an urgent chamber application in the High Court seeking an order to stop the establishment of a medical facility in a residential suburb to cater for people suffering from the deadly coronavirus.

By Silas Nkala/Desmond Chingarande

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) reported that, Roger Stringer had approached the High Court in protest against the renovation and upgrading of Rock Foundation Medical Facility, which is meant to cater for people stricken with the coronavirus.

The renovations are being carried out by Sakunda Holdings, which is owned by businessman, Kudakwashe Tagwirei.

“Stringer, who resides at a property that is adjacent to the medical facility is apprehensive that he is being exposed to a greater risk of contracting coronavirus should the medical facility be used for the admission of some patients and that his right to an environment that is not harmful to his health or well-being is about to be violated,” ZLHR reported.

“The Harare resident argued that Sakunda Holdings and (Health minister Obadiah) Moyo are not authorised by law to violate his entitlement to the protection of the law in relation to the role of the local authority in managing infectious diseases and the right to be consulted afforded to residents in Mt Pleasant suburb.”

Stringer argued that no measures have been or are being put in place to minimise the exposure of himself, his family and other residents brought upon by the use of such a facility as a referral centre for infectious disease.

He said the site for the medical facility is connected to a reticulated sewer main across Norfolk Road in Mt Pleasant suburb, which is intertwined with water supply and with the same sewer reticulation mains which service his household and therefore puts himself and his family at greater risk of contracting the highly infectious coronavirus.

Stringer submitted that Sakunda Holdings and Moyo can make use of some established facilities for infectious diseases such as Wilkins Hospital and Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital, which are all run by City of Harare for the admission and management of patients diagnosed with coronavirus and of which these facilities have not been proved to be inadequate for the purposes of containing the deadly outbreak.

The matter is due to be held Sunday at the High Court before Justice Happius Zhou.