President Mnangagwa calls for improved sanitation amid cholera outbreak

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

Zimbabwe has declared a cholera outbreak in the capital Harare after the death toll rose to 20 and more than 2,000 people were infected.

"The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to inform members of the public that in light of the declaration of the state of emergency, the police in Harare will not allow any public gatherings", Charamba said in a statement.

With the help of global agencies, the outbreak was controlled, and by July 2009, after no cases had been reported for several weeks, the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare declared the outbreak over.

"The current cholera epidemic is a awful effect of Zimbabwe's failure to invest in and manage both its basic water and sanitation infrastructure and its health care system", said Jessica Pwiti, Executive Director of Amnesty International Zimbabwe, in a statement released Wednesday.

In December 2008, the Zimbabwean government declared the outbreak a national emergency and requested global aid.

Plans by Zimbabwe's main opposition party to conduct a mock inauguration ceremony for its candidate Nelson Chamisa on Saturday may be affected by Wednesday's ban on all public gatherings in the capital Harare.

"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".

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"We are now at 3,067 cases". According to Moyo broken sewers and poor disposal of the wastes have lead to contamination of the drinking water sources in Harare. He said, "It's an ancient disease, which has been eliminated in many parts of the world".

A total of 4,000 people died and at least 100,000 people fell ill.

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

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

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

She urged the Mnangagwa administration to "learn from its predecessor's mistakes" and act urgently before more lives are lost.

Cholera is caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water and can kill within hours if untreated.

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