hre hosp.jpgFive children are reported to have died in the past eight days due to an outbreak of measles at Chabwino Farm’s Svisva settlement in Goromonzi West District amid revelations that the police were never informed about any of the deaths.

 

All the deaths recorded so far are among members of the Johanne Marange Apostolic sect, a fact which has riled other members of the community who said this could have been prevented. Residents who spoke to ZBC News said all the deaths and subsequent burials were veiled in secrecy.

 

Headman of the area Mr. Claudios Charakupa who is also a member of the Johanne Marange sect confirmed three of the deaths but appeared unmoved, saying measles only occurs when individuals fail to confess their sins.

 

He added that the sect deals with measles from a traditional point of view instead of immunizing children, a position also supported by one of the bereaved parents.

 

The Goromonzi West political leadership expressed shock that such practices are still going on in modern day society, while Goromonzi West  member of the lower house Cde. Beatrice Nyamupinga condemned the non- vaccination of infants, calling upon concerted government and police efforts to prevent the further loss of innocent lives.

 

The infants who have died so far in Goromonzi are just but a tip of the iceberg as even more unconfirmed measles deaths have been reported in Murehwa and other areas among members of the same church. Concerned stakeholders say the forthcoming constitution should address such thematic areas of religious freedom in the new constitution.