BY METHEMBE SIBANDA
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.
In its latest monthly report, ZDI blasted the government for failing to ensure that gatherings at its events were limited to only 100 people as per regulations.
“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.