THE Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) has called on the government to lead by example by limiting crowds at its events in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These measures appear to be a case of do as I say, not as I do, as the ruling Zanu PF party led government continue to violate the (COVID-19) guidelines. On 13 December 2021, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, commissioned Kudzanai bus terminus in Gweru and the event had more 100 Zanu-PF supporters, a number which was more than the required level 2 lockdown measures,” ZDI said.
It noted that government officials were the main culprits in infringing COVID-19 regulations while the ruling Zanu PF party has been holding its internal provincial elections.
The think-tank said the fight against COVID-19 should rest upon strict adherence of the pandemic rules and regulations by both the government and citizens.
“The continued emergence of new variants associated with the COVID-19 pandemic requires that government takes a leading role in religiously observing the laid down preventative measures as expounded in level 2 lockdown rules. This goes a long way in limiting the spread of the deadly virus of COVID-19. Gatherings by the Zanu PF party during the period under review threaten the success of fighting COVID-19 and the new emerging variants,” the ZDI said.
Another recent research paper by University of Johannesburg scholars, Paddington Mutekwe and Kudzaiishe Peter Vanyoro showed that the Zanu PF-led government used COVID-19 as an excuse to further its political interests.
“This is politics that protected ZANU-PF’s social, political and economic interests by using COVID-19 as an excuse to pulverise various forms of opposition. While the implementation of the lockdown in Zimbabwe was necessary to save lives, one of its consequences was the protection of self-interests through selective application of lockdown regulations and the passing of laws to silence critics,” the scholars said. -Newsday