The Chegutu cholera treatment centre has been closed, but the local Muslim community is insisting on an apology from the government after accusations they were to blame for the outbreak.
BY NUNURAI JENA
The government claimed some rituals conducted by the community during burials were to blame for the spread of cholera.
The allegations did not go down well with Muslim leaders, who accused the government of tarnishing their image.
Chegutu Muslim community secretary Valdhi Chiutila said the comments were damaging.
“We are still waiting for government officials who misrepresented to the world about how we handle our dead to come forward and apologise,” he said.
“We were angered by false statements about how we clean the dead.”
Chiutila said the statements created an impression that they open the bowels of the dead and clean the intestines with bare hands, which was not true.
He said be claims that the body of the first cholera victim, 70-year-old Laita Mungulisia, woman, was bathed by men were false.
Chegutu MP Dexter Nduna’s apology was rejected by the community who said he was not a government spokesperson..
“I apologise on behalf of whoever might have angered the Muslim community by deed, utterance or otherwise. I believe it was not intentional, but out of ignorance,” said Nduna
However, Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa insisted the community must be open about how they treat their dead.
“We respect all religions and encourage them to abide by the laws of the country in terms of health standards, but they (Muslims) must be open to let those who want to witness their burial rituals come to demystify the notions held by people,” he said.
“I will be glad if they invite me to see how they clean their dead.”