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‘COVID-19 vaccine roll-out matter not urgent’ says High Court

By Miriam Mangwaya

High Court judge Justice Felistas Chatukuta has struck off the roll an urgent chamber application filed by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), seeking to compel the government to provide a vaccine roll-out plan.

High Court of Zimbabwe
High Court of Zimbabwe
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ZimRights had filed a chamber application, through its lawyer Tendai Biti of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), seeking an order to compel President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Health minister Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga and Finance minister Mthuli Ncube to publicise regulations relating to public policies and measures dealing with the registration, acquisition and distribution of coronavirus vaccines.

But Justice Chatukuta told Biti that the ZimRights application had been removed from the roll of urgent matters. He said there was no urgency in the matter.

The reasons that she gave were that the government had declared a national lockdown in March 2020, yet the budget was presented to Parliament in November 2020.

Justice Chatukuta also said that ZimRights should have taken action two months ago upon realising that the national budget had not made provisions for the purchase of vaccines when other countries had started receiving them in December and early last month. NewsDay.