Lessons from COVID-19 pandemic

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THERE are many lessons from the current COVID-19 pandemic but one that stands tall is how Government has been on top of the game in the battle to contain the disease from becoming the catastrophe that those who wish this country ill had been anticipating.

Many in the opposition and the so-called civil society had taken the COVID-19 pandemic as a focal point to launch a fresh onslaught on the Government.

But this has not been so.

This is so especially in the context of the limited resources at the Government’s disposal, with international financial institutions being accosted not to release funds towards the fight against the global pandemic by some officials within the opposition MDC.

In fact, the MDC has, since its ill-fated formation on September 11 1999, been opposed to anything and anything that has to do with protecting and defending the livelihoods of the people of Zimbabwe. 

This is also on the back of renewed efforts by some opposition aligned groupings to paralyse the health sector through unwarranted job actions at a time Government has moved in to cushion its employees from the harsh economic realities caused by natural disasters, successive droughts and Western-sponsored economic sanctions.

While Government has thus far mitigated COVID-19 infection rates, through the numerous interventions it has adopted, a new challenge has emerged in the form of economic sabotage by some known opposition activists. 

The first critical intervention was the three week national lockdown in March that marked the beginning of the containment strategy whose results we are seeing now.

This was followed by fortnight lockdown updates which have seen the gradual easing of some restrictions and the reopening of businesses, including the informal sector.

But as that happened, the business sector emerged out of the three-week national lockdown a different animal altogether.

They have wantonly increased prices of basic commodities beyond the reach of the masses, most of who have had to bear the brunt of a sanctions-induced non-performing economy over the past two decades.

This is part of a nefarious regime change agenda that has been upped by malcontents who are either within or aligned to the opposition.

These stand warned that any attempts to derail the country’s on-going economic revival efforts will be met with the contempt they deserve.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa warned these people during a Politburo meeting a fortnight ago that he would take the war to these saboteurs.

Said President Mnangagwa: “On the economic front, we are witnessing a relentless attack on our currency and the economy in general through exorbitant pricing models. 

We are fully cognisant that this is a battle being fuelled by our political detractors, elite opportunists and malcontents who are bent on pushing a nefarious agenda.

They will never win. 

We did not liberate this country for selfish profiteers and greedy individuals, but for all people in our land who have a right to enjoy a better quality of life. 

As a Party we must always strive to achieve this.”

As expected, the lockdown period has had its fair share of drama, emanating mainly from the opposition MDC.

On May 13 2020, the Zimbabwean police said they had arrested opposition MDC members Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova for embarking on an illegal demonstration in the sprawling Warren Park surburb. 

The trio has since alleged they were in fact ‘abducted’ by State security agents who sexually harassed and tortured them.

The incident sparked a nasty exchange between Harare and Western countries that ‘ordered’ Zimbabwe to investigate and bring closure to the issue.

That has done little to solve the diplomatic rift between Harare and Washington. The US has continued to meddle in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe through their open and sometimes brazen support of the MDC.

Within the MDC itself, the house has been on fire with the fight over control of the party resulting in yet another split.

This came in March when the Supreme Court upheld a High Court ruling which confirmed Thokozani Khupe as the interim leader of the beleaguered MDC-T.

The ruling meant that the MDC-T reverted to the 2014 structures where Douglas Mwonzora thumped Nelson Chamisa in the race for the post of secretary-general.

Chamisa, who had grabbed power during the party’s founding leader Morgan Tvangirai’s funeral in Humanikwa Village, Buhera, in February 2018, became an ordinary party member before Tsvangirai manipulated structures and catapulted him to the top.

Buoyed by the Supreme Court ruling, Mwonzora immediately flexed his muscles when he recalled four MDC Alliance MPs, telling Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and Senate President Mabel Chinomona that the four were no longer members of the MDC-T party.

Those recalled are Charlton Hwende, Thabita Khumalo, Prosper Mutseyami and Lilian Timveous. 

Nine more MPs were recalled on Tuesday as the bloodletting in the opposition escalates.

The nine are: Amos Chibaya, Murisi Zwizwai and Happymore Chidziva, together with proportionate representatives Bacilia Majaya, Macharairwa Mugidho, Virginia Muradzikwa, Annah Myambo, Francisca Ncube and Nomathemba Ndlovu.

Khupe recently upped the tempo when she seized the party headquarters (Morgan Tsvangirai House, formerly Harvest House) in Harare.

As all this was happening, tobacco farmers were smiling all the way to the bank as their produce has raked in more than US$200 million so far.

Let those with ears listen.

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