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Will Shiri's demise force Mnangagwa govt to act?

by Staff reporter
30 Jul 2020 at 08:59hrs | Views
ZIMBABWEANS yesterday woke up to news of the death of Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri, who reports suggest was the latest victim of COVID-19.

He was no angel, but we hope his passing on may awaken the administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa to the reality and dangers posed by the novel coronavirus.

Shiri's driver also reportedly succumbed to the virus at the weekend and was buried on Sunday.

The Agriculture ministry offices have since been shut down, while a senior official at the Finance ministry is reportedly hospitalised after contracting COVID-19.

The death of Shiri, a retired Chief Air Marshal, hit the government the hardest as they say he was spearheading massive projects ostensibly to turnaround the struggling economy which is agro-based.

While the death of Shiri remains the much-talked about topic in the country, also burdened with 40 more deaths and more than 2 704 infections, as of Tuesday night, the tragedy should be a wake-up call to the powers-that-be.

Zimbabweans have been victims of a rotten health system for far too long and government inaction has left the system in shambles.

From the late former President Robert Mugabe and family, incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa and family, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga and family, his colleague VP Kembo Mohadi, ministers and other government officials, they had the luxury of flying at will to seek medical attention outside the country.

Stakeholders have long said that the best way to go was for government to sort out the health delivery system.

Nurses and doctors have downed tools citing poor working conditions and unavailability of personal protective clothing for health workers.

In the words of doctors and nurses, there is a slow genocide in our hospitals, which the government has largely ignored.

The mortality rate is way too high now and the government seems to be taking a lackadaisical approach to the matter.

Senior government officials, including the President himself, their families and associates, who, in the wake of a slightest ailment fly out of the country, are embroiled in abuse of COVID-19 funds involving millions of dollars.

There was denial, anger and threats of arrest for those who exposed the acts of corruption by government officials and Zanu-PF apologists.

We only hope this sad development alerts those in positions of authority that it is criminal to abuse funds meant to assist exposed poor people.

Provision of proper medical care facilities is not a favour by the government to the poor. It is a must and must be executed with the view that they will help everyone from the first citizen to the last citizen.

This must signal the end to recklessness that include childish ministerial statements that COVID-19 was God's punishment for sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, according to Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri, whose daughter was reportedly exposed and infected with the virus, but has since gone public that she has recovered.

Pay doctors and nurses better salaries, listen more to their concerns and act, never allow the demise of health facilities or turn them into death traps.



Source - newsday

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