Noting that essential services workers are risking their right to life and the safety, security and life of their family members by continuously working during the risky COVID19 lockdown period, as Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) we wish to implore the Government of Zimbabwe to put in place special measures to incentives these human rights defenders (essential services workers) and appreciate their efforts.

Realizing that their continued service is a national duty that cannot be monetized enough, our call is to simple appreciate their services, show them gratitude and motivate them even further.

Our suggested measures to government therefore include:

  1. Tax free salaries for 3 months for all government, local authority and private sector essential services workers who continued working during the 21 days lockdown period;
  2. Free transport to and from work for all essential services workers during the lockdown period;
  3. Tax exemption for 3 months for all private sector companies who continued offering essential services during the lockdown period;
  4. Presidential medals of recognition to all health sector workers who were deployed in the COVID19 quarantine and referral centres;
  5. A presidential education and welfare support scheme for all the children and spouses of the nurses and doctors who are in COVID19 health centres who might lose their lives in the process of offering essential services in those areas.

We recognize that our fellow citizens in the essential services have volunteered to render essential services to the nation during this critical period without expecting any incentive in return. We further appreciate that their service is out of passion and dedication to serving human life and fulfilling human rights and freedoms.

The above recommendations are a realization that whilst we have rights (even during such emergencies) we also as a national have a responsibility to appreciate those sacrificing to enhance our rights.

We appreciate that the State has limited resources currently, but it is our genuine feeling that these suggested measures will go a long in encouraging and appreciating our essential services workers and some of the measures proposed do no need any resources to be implemented, they can be implemented within the spectrum of available resources.

Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights is a non-profit human rights watchdog that exists to enhance the protection, promotion and fulfilment of the rights of vulnerable individuals, communities and societies within Zimbabwe.


The General Secretary



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