Veritas calls for urgency in announcing lockdown extension
Legal watchdog, Veritas has urged government to avoid waiting for the last minute in announcing the lockdown extension to avoid public frustration.
The organ which has been one of the voices in the forefront calling on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to extend the lockdown in order to avoid further spread said there is need to move with speed.
“We believe that if there is to be an extension of the national lockdown it should be announced in advance in order to prepare the members of the public, businesses, the education sector, etc. The parameters of the restrictions should be made clear in regulations or orders and these should be made known to all law enforcement agents,” said Veritas in a statement.
The reputable legal watchdog said a key part of the strategy on dealing with Covid-19 that has been used in other countries is to build public trust in the leadership and the information that the public receive.
Said Veritas,” The Government should invest in a communication strategy which informs every member of society about measures that it will be taking in dealing with the pandemic. Any extension of the lockdown must be communicated in time and its purpose explained.”
It highlighted that exemptions should be clear and the health of those exempted need to be fully protected while noting that food markets and places where the public can get water must remain open and accessible.
Government was also advised to make sure that security forces are instructed on how to persuade people to practise social distancing and washing of hands and contaminated surfaces and desist from beating up people as this does not help prevent the virus.
“The Government should therefore expend energy on trust building and effective communication that allows forward planning by the public as this is key to the success of the fight against Covid-19,” added Veritas.
The remarks come at a time when Covid19 infections continue to maintain an upward trajectory with numbers hovering above 20.
Fears are that the virus may reach alarming levels in the coming weeks but economically challenged Zimbabweans are in confusing position on whether to value incomes or life.