Deciding body (English)
Type of body
Type of Court (material scope)
Type of jurisdiction
Type of Court (territorial scope)
Outcome of the decision
The applicants averred that the Government of Zimbabwe had recognised and declared a state of disaster and a mandatory lockdown to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19. Against that backdrop, the erratic supply of adequately clean and potable water has exposed Masvingo residents to COVID-19.
The Court has held that the applicants did not prove that they would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction is not granted. The case has been dismissed.
Facts of the case
The applicants sought a declaration that the first Respondent’s failure to ensure constant supply of adequately clean and potable water to the 1st Applicant and residents of Rujeko, Mucheke, Zimre Park, Rhodene and Cloverly in Masvingo during the COVID-19 pandemic be declared a violation of Applicant’s right to clean, safe, and potable water. Guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation specifically encouraged individuals to wash their hands using running water, also by using hand- washing facilities.
The Court has found that the irreparable harm had not been proved by the applicants.
Type of measure challenged
Measures, actions, remedies claimed
Individual / collective enforcement
Nature of the parties
Type of procedure
Reasoning of the deciding body
The Court has found that the applicants did not prove they would suffer irreparable harm if the relief was not granted. That much as it is expected that 1st respondent should attempt by all means to adequately supply consistent water to the residents of the City of Masvingo, they failed to show their capacity and efforts to resolve the same. The Court finally noted that, given the limited pumping capacity of 1st Respondent, in the circumstances no irreparable harm was proved.
Conclusions of the deciding body
The application was dismissed for failure to prove irreparable harm.
Fundamental Right(s) involved
Fundamental Right(s) instruments (constitutional provisions, international conventions and treaties)
- Right to health Care, Section 76 of the Constitution
- Right to safe, clean, and potable water, Section 77 (a) of the Constitution
Rights and freedoms specifically identified as (possibly) conflicting with the right to health
General principle applied
Balancing techniques and principles (proportionality, reasonableness, others)
Court has taken into consideration the limited water pumping capacity of the City of Masvingo and found that, under the present circumstances, irreparable harm was not reasonably proven.
Impact on national case law
M. S. Z.
Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance
City of Masvingo
Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing
Minister of Health and Child Care
Minister of Finance