How will Zimbabwe's opposition navigate ban on public gatherings?

A patient inside a cholera treatment tent at the Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital in Harare on 11 September 2018

How will Zimbabwe's opposition navigate ban on public gatherings?

In a statement, the national police spokeswoman Charity Charamba urged members of the public to take heed of the ban as it would assist in alleviating the spread of cholera, but did not say how long the ban would last. The government and the police are enforcing laws to stop urinating and defecating in public and is sending out text messages, verbal communication via audio and audio visual media to the general public to prevent spread of cholera and typhoid.

"We are now at 3,067 cases".

The outbreak comes as most local authorities are struggling to provide clean water and collect garbage citing financial challenges, raising fears of a repeat of the 2008 outbreak where the waterborne disease claimed over 4,500 lives countrywide.

One school was closed in Glen View.

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Zimbabwe, which was ruled by Robert Mugabe from independence in 1980 until his ousting past year, suffered its worst cholera outbreak in 2008. He said, "It's an ancient disease, which has been eliminated in many parts of the world".

"The current cholera epidemic is a bad effect of Zimbabwe's failure to invest in and manage both its basic water and sanitation infrastructure and its health care system".

Most residents in the city's high density suburbs rely on water from community boreholes and open wells due to intermittent potable water supplies from the council.

The outbreak represents the first serious public health emergency for President Emmerson Mnangagwa following his disputed election at the end of July.

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"The government has declared the cholera outbreak a state of emergence meaning that it is also a threat to human security".

"The authorities must invest in proper sanitation and health infrastructure and ensure universal access to health care".

"It is appalling that in 2018, people are still dying of such a preventable disease", said Jessica Pwiti, director of Amnesty International Zimbabwe said in a statement.

"But no lessons were learned from the 2008 epidemic, and the outbreak and deaths we're seeing now is symptomatic of a still-broken sanitation infrastructure and poor sewer management, worsened by shortages of drugs and medical supplies".

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