Biti’s sidekick challenges lockdown in ConCourt

Mfundo Mlilo

MDC-Alliance Vice President’s sidekick Mfundo Mlilo and the Zimbabwe informal traders association have filed an urgent application at court challenging the rationality of a 30-day long lockdown announced by Vice President who doubles up as the Minister of Health, Dr. Constantino Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga.

The application cited the Ministry Of Health as the respondent and as part of the application, the remedy sought is to shorten the lockdown period based on scientific evidence on the incubation period of COVID-19. In absence of robust social safety measures.

The lawyers argue that most Zimbabweans are living from hand to mouth, so there is a need to strike a balance on the different human rights given the indivisibility, inter-relatedness, inalienability nature of human rights.

The same lawyers also filed another application on behalf of Obey Shava and the Young Lawyers Association of Zimbabwe (YLAZ) seeking to declare VP Chiwenga’s issuance of S.I 10/2021 excluding legal services within the meaning and scope of essential services to be declared to be in contravention of lawyer’s rights in terms of Constitution.

The applicants want the government to declare legal services as essential services during the period of the national lockdown.

The lawyers argue that even during a state of emergency, section 87 of the Constitution prohibits the limitation rights and hence govt’s conduct violates the right to a fair hearing of people in terms of various provisions of the Constitution.