Covid-19: Zanu PF behavior worrying

• The public must sue – Musa Kika


MASVINGO – Zanu PF’s behavior where the ruling party continues to hold big meetings and rallies in violation of strict lockdown rules announced by the party’s own Minister of Health and child Care three weeks ago has drawn the ire of the public.

Judging from the last wave that started around December last year, such meetings are seen as the biggest superspreaders of the virus. Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who is also Minister of Health banned all gatherings including church services, drinking from bars or eating from restaurants.

He limited gatherings at funerals to just 30 people. However, the ruling party has intensified its rallies and meetings during the lockdown and currently it is restructuring and registering mujibas and chimbwidos for compensation. It has held tens of meetings in Masvingo Province in the last week including in Chiredzi and Masvingo Urban which the Government has declared a hot spot for Covid19. The party sent a powerful delegation to a funeral in Chiwara, Gutu last week where nearly a thousand mourners including Politburo member Lovemore Matuke were present. Meanwhile 96 people died due to Covid-19 this month alone and daily active cases jumped from 416 on Monday to 766 on Wednesday.

In Masvingo, Rujeko, the only Covid isolation center in the city is almost full with health workers battling to provide oxygen to patients. Those who spoke to The Mirror said the meetings and rallies served to prove public sentiment that Zanu PF is a party that doesn’t care about the people. They argued that if it cared, it would not expose thousands of people to the infectious virus through its meetings and rallies. They said that to Zanu PF people are just fodder that feeds its political system.

Lawyers who spoke to The Mirror said the Covid19 pandemic has brought Zimbabwe to a state of lawlessness where Zanu PF holds meetings while everyone else is banned. They said anyone else who holds a gathering is arrested but the ruling party holds huge rallies in broad daylight.

Another interviewee said Zanu PF’s behavior has sent wrong signals to the public as many people now suspect that Covid19 is just but a hoax to give Zanu PF mileage in the 2023 election campaign while opposition parties are on leash. Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum executive director Musa Kika said time has come to take legal action against Zanu PF for violating the law and putting the nation at risk of Covid19.

John Mutashu said as many people have thrown caution to the wind, going about in overloaded busses, not wearing masks or sanitizing, visiting overcrowded shops, attending large gatherings at funerals ad memorials. “Zanu PF does not respect the law and neither does it respect human life. They are putting people’s lives at risk for selfish political expediency.

Everyone can now see how cruel these people are. They can kill anyone for political control,” said Clifford Hlatswayo who is the MDC A deputy spokesperson. Asked for comment, Matuke who attended a funeral that had nearly 1 000 mourners last week said Zanu PF is Government and Government is Zanu PF and said he will ensure that they will walk the talk.

He asked The Mirror to forward him pictures of the rallies, meetings and funerals to him. He also said that he wanted names of people who officiated at those meetings.

Kika said that there is unfair application of the law. What they are showing us is that Zanu PF is above the law and putting the whole nation at risk. “Opposition parties and even individuals are appearing in court and have been denied clearance to hold meetings. In some instances, single protestors have been arrested.

“Time has come to prepare legal action against this kind of lawlessness. The people must be protected and evidence of these Zanu PF meetings must be gathered,” said Kika.

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