Zimbabwe legislator says MPs should be tested for coronavirus twice a week because covid-19 is real


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Zimbabwe independent legislator Temba Mliswa says Members of Parliament should be tested for the coronavirus at least monthly or even twice a week because covid-19 is real.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday after Deputy Speaker Tsitsi Gezi asked members to practise social distancing, Mliswa said he had realised how serious coronavirus was after his sister fell ill.

“Why can we not have a situation where we are tested monthly or twice a week because we do not know who is positive here,” Mliswa said.

“I say so because my own sister and Hon Member for Hurungwe West and Provincial Minister of State, Hon. Mary Chikoka was infected.

“It is through the grace of God that she survived. It was acute and in no time she was in ICU under incubation.

“It is a miracle for her to survive. I have learnt that only until it happens to somebody close to you, can you appreciate it. I am hoping that it does not happen to anybody close to you so that we protect ourselves.”

Cases of coronavirus are now on the increase in Zimbabwe with 1 556 active cases as of yesterday.

More than 11 000 Zimbabweans have so far tested positive and 304 have died.

Twenty have died in Harare alone this month.

One of the country’s largest referral hospitals, Parirenyatwa, suspended visiting hours from yesterday to curb infections saying staff was getting more infected than patients.

Full debate:

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Members may we please practice social distancing.  We have to sit a meter apart from each other.  May you stretch your hands?  May we all put our masks on properly.  I am also reminding Hon. Members to link their gadgets.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker, I think we have to take seriously the COVID -19 pandemic.  I say so because on behalf of many Members, our condolences to ZBC Reporter, the late Janet Munyaka.  I say so because she was quite dedicated to her duty and was a professional.  What really pains me is she definitely got infected while at work.  What are we doing to ensure that these people who are dedicating their time to serve this country are protected?  What has ZBC done to ensure that there is some tracing in terms of everybody at ZBC.  We have not read about that. The fear is that as Parliament, through our role of oversight, we must be able to encourage institutions to be protected. It is quite sad that we allow our dedicated men and women to work without taking cognisance of the fact that from a health point of view, they have to be protected.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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