Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obediah Moyo today toured the Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital where he declared a cholera emergency in Harare.
The newly appointed minister and his deputy are facing their first test as they have been appointed at a time the country is working to contain a cholera outbreak.
Twenty people have reportedly succumbed to the disease and more than 2 000 have been infected after drinking contaminated water.
The Health Minister said declaring an emergency will enable the government to quickly contain cholera, typhoid and other diarrheal diseases.
Classes at some schools in the affected suburbs of Budiriro and Glen View have been suspended while cooperating partners, United Nations agencies and companies from the private sector have been asked to assist with provision of portable water.
Minister Moyo also announced that vendors have been banned from selling meat and fish in the affected suburbs and the Zimbabwe Republic Police have been notified to enforce the ban.
Harare City Council has not been able to supply adequate water to various suburbs in the capital for years and residents are having to rely on water from open wells and community boreholes, some of which are now contaminated.
Zimbabwe recorded its biggest cholera outbreak in 2008 which left more than 4 000 people dead.