Zimbabwe’s contradictions – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

Source: Zimbabwe’s contradictions – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 16th January 2021



Against all evidence, he said that public health facilities were not yet strained and accused social media of propagating lies that there were not enough hospital beds. He insisted that there were enough beds to accommodate serious cases, maintaining that 85% of people affected were in ‘self-isolation’!

‘However, if the need arises in future, my ministry may consider options of increasing facilities currently designated for Covid-19 or designate more hospitals to take in patients’.

Despite a surge in serious cases, Chiwenga indicated that he was taking a cautious approach to vaccinating people against the virus.

Medical experts have expressed fears that the country is ill-prepared for the new wave of infections, with supplies of medical oxygen running out and a dire shortage of intensive care facilities. Doctors for Human Rights said the country only had 30 intensive care beds (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/01/covid-19-under-control-chiwenga/).

Another Zanu PF us against them attitude is shown by the release on bail of Mining Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya, a party stalwart, who was arrested at Harare airport trying to smuggle 6 kilograms of gold worth US$330,000 to Dubai (see: https://www.newsday.co.zw/2021/01/rushwaya-granted-bail-2/).

Rushwaya had contacts at the heart of Zanu PF but opponents of the regime are routinely refused bail even when facing flimsy charges.

Rushwaya was a strong candidate for our fraud of the week but the award goes to Florence Chimbumu, a top manager of the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education. Her qualification for the job turned out to be a single O Level pass but she had produced a forged certificate showing 5 passes, as well as diplomas in accounts and secretarial studies and a higher national diploma in office management.

Great Zimbabwe University says it has withdrawn the Bachelor of Science Honours degree (Politics and Public Administration) conferred on Chimbumu. In addition she loses the perks of being a boss of the country’s quality regulator of degree and diploma programmes, including a private security guard, an all-terrain Toyota Hillux double-cab vehicle, school fees and international holiday allowances – not to mention a domestic worker’s allowance, medical cover for her, her husband and three children, clothing and entertainment allowances etc (see: https://www.thezimbabwemail.com/education/ex-zimche-boss-stripped-of-degree/).

Under Zanu PF you can go a long way with one O Level.

Other Points:

  • The lockdown has been a great disaster for many people living at subsistence level. ‘Commanding the closure of the economy without the necessary supporting economic reliefs, medical and social measures is suicidal, said Fadzayi Mahere, spokesperson for the MDC Alliance (see: https://www.theafricareport.com/57779/zimbabwe-lockdown-amid-covid-surge-has-no-support-for-people/).
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157717923010683. Our virtual Vigil activists today were Deborah Harry and Benjamin Molife who both kindly contributed to Vigil funds.


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