President’s frank, hard pandemic talk

Source: President’s frank, hard pandemic talk | Herald (Opinion)

President Mnangagwa

As the time progresses, the national leadership has not been afraid to adjust its response to Covid-19, with respect to new science and information, the varied lockdowns have been evidence

President Mnangagwa on Saturday assuredly spoke to the country, intimating on the direction the Covid-19 response will take.

Prior to his address, some Zimbabweans had become curious as Covid-19 cases were rising in the context of both fatalities and infections.

Cases are still rising, but the conversation the Head of State and Government had with the country gave an honest, candid and necessary insight into the perilous times we are in.

While some citizens are commendably taking heed of regulations, others are following regulations only to appease law enforcement.

This necessitated the need for an upfront engagement from the highest office on the land, clearly expressing what awaits the country if behaviours do not change.

“For our nation, the numbers of infections have gone past 30 000, with indications pointing to more infections in the coming hours, days, weeks and even months.

“To date, we have lost 962 of our beloved, and soon, we will reach and even pass the grim mark of a thousand. The situation is very worrisome and threatens to become dire,” said President Mnangagwa.

On paper, the President has been on leave, but in essence, the pandemic has made it difficult for him to entirely disconnect from the business of his office.

On Thursday, he buried liberation stalwart Morton Jazzy Paul Malianga and Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba at the Heroes Acre.

Just 48 hours later, he was at State House saluting frontline workers who have been brave and selfless in trying to save lives of thousands of Zimbabweans who have contracted the virus.

“Our frontline staff continue to give their very best, and we owe them greatly for their huge sacrifices. Consultations are underway with the private sector to ensure we pool our efforts and resources for a definitive national response.

“They are the heroes and heroines of our nation, and should receive priority protection so they in turn protect, you, me all of us. Once we receive the vaccine  and it will be quite soon  they will be the first ones to be inoculated,” President Mnangagwa said.

On the visible horizon, it appears a vaccine will be the world’s saving grace as numerous companies and research centres are reporting encouraging progress.

Some countries have begun giving jabs to their vulnerable populations and frontline workers, locally there has been raging debate over the subject matter concerns over its safety emerging.

The President rested the debate by updating the country that Zimbabwe is not going to blindly procure a vaccine without effecting rigorous due diligence.

“Government has been engaging countries, which have developed vaccines. Help and relief are on the way. Our experts who have been assessing different vaccines, are very close to finalising the course to recommend to our nation. A course which ensures that the vaccines we introduce in our bodies are both safe and effective,” said President Mnangagwa promising to roll out the vaccine across the length and breadth of the country.

Zimbabwe is a country with a history of triumph.

Its past has had phases of strife whose memories still evoke emotions when mentioned, but that has not stopped the country from going forward.

President Mnangagwa on Saturday reached out the resilience in Zimbabweans, assuring them that soon we will look at this difficult time as a distant memory.

“The situation which confronts us may make us feel depressed, even helpless. Let me remind each and every one of us that we have been through worse challenges as a people. Challenges we have had to confront alone when the greater part of the world moved on with indifference, or was even complicit in seeking our ruin. 

“We have confronted danger on our own, with a few allies and friends. Yet we overcame, which is why our nation stands to this day,” he said.

The President said there will be more updates from ministries and the technical minds on more specific announcements as the countries continues to fight the global pandemic.

It has been a long journey, for Zimbabwe and the world, every day is a learning process as the virus is still new.

As the time progresses, the national leadership has not been afraid to adjust its response to Covid-19, with respect to new science and information, the varied lockdowns have been evidence.

President Mnangagwa has been leading from the front from the first day, his address on Saturday was yet another assuring act to remind the country that they are not alone in the fight.