Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa has saluted Zimbabwe’s all-weather friend China for standing with the country during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yesterday President Mnangagwa received 30 000 testing kits donated by China including 220 000 surgical masks and 40 000 medical gloves, among other personnel protective equipment (PPEs) that were donated by the International Department of Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to the ruling party Zanu PF.
President Mnangagwa warned Zimbabweans to guard against complacency.
“The pandemic knows no borders, the pandemic knows no colour, the pandemic knows no level of economic development (and) the pandemic knows no level of health infrastructure.
“It has ravaged many countries on the globe. When we look at the manner in which it has caused havoc in the First World countries like America, Germany, United Kingdom, we in flagging economies, we really feel naked to deal with this pandemic.
“We, however, are grateful that our friends . . . our relationship with the People’s Republic of China that is historical and has stood the test of time has come to our rescue.
“You have sent us equipment from the time the pandemic reached this country. You have sent us medical experts to come and share their experiences and competences with our people and our medical doctors here.”
The President said donations from China were a testimony of an enduring friendship that dates back to the country’s liberation struggle.
“We shall remain grateful for that. Today, we are receiving this consignment coming from our sister party, the Communist Party of China to their sister party Zanu PF and also part of the material has come from the Chinese government to the Government of Zimbabwe.
“Again, a friend who comes when you are lying on your belly is indeed a friend. Efforts to contain this dramatic increase in the number of cases in the last month have necessitated that we tighten the lockdown to support enhanced testing, community surveillance and cluster identification.
“There was a period when we felt complacent when the figures were very low, but of recent the surge, the spike is frightening, so I appeal to our people to stay at home.”
The President added that whenever Zimbabwe sought a shoulder to lean on, China has always been ready to listen and provide help.
“China under the President Xi Jinping has throughout consulted us, communicated with us to find out what assistance we need and every single request I have made, I have been replied to positively. On behalf of Zimbabwe and indeed on our behalf, I wish you Your Excellency to express and convey our sincere appreciation to the response we receive from the China,” the President said.
Apart from the donation that was made by China, Vice President Chiwenga, who was recently in China also sourced equipment to help the nation fight the pandemic.
“To my brother VP Chiwenga who has just arrived from China two days ago. Despite his condition, he remembered that there are problems at home and used whatever resources he had at his disposal to buy Covid-19 equipment, which he is now donating to the Government.
“We have so many citizens in the country who have means, who have capacity. Yes, I am grateful, not all Zimbabweans have ignored. I am proud that certain individuals, companies, private and the public sector churches and other organisations have come forward to express their compassion to fight and mitigate the impact of Covid-19. I am grateful that when our nation gets challenged, we have a citizenry, which stands up shoulder to shoulder to fight the challenges.”
Handing over the donation, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochun commended the New Dispensation for its commitment towards the fight against the pandemic.
The ambassador said that the unity between the two countries in the fight against the pandemic has demonstrated a strong friendship that is unbreakable
“Now we are entering a new phase in this fight as community transmission picks up, we are alert, but not deterred because I have seen first-hand the grit of Zimbabweans and China is determined to stick with you,” said the Ambassador.