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Mnangagwa criticised over selective application of COVID-19 regulations

by Staff reporter
28 Dec 2021 at 07:16hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has come under fire for defying his government's COVID-19 regulations on public gatherings as the country grapples with the fourth wave.

Clergy, residents and civic groups criticised Mnangagwa after police on Sunday announced that New Year eve night vigils and celebrations were banned to contain the spreading of the Omicron variant.

However, earlier during the day, Mnangagwa and government officials had attended a church gathering at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo.

On December 14, the government also announced that it had suspended face-to-face meetings.

In an interview, Zimbabwe Election Support Network chairperson Andrew Makoni said the electoral watchdog was concerned by the selective application of regulations as Zimbabwe heads for by-elections early next year.

"The COVID-19 regulations appear to be made to handicap the opposition political parties in Zimbabwe, while those in the ruling party can do as they please. We have seen mass mobilisation at rallies by Zanu-PF, but police have moved to block the opposition when it does the same, this is a cause of concern in a democracy," Makoni said.

Zimbabwe Peace Project director Jestina Mukoko said the developments were worrisome, and would not help in building confidence and peace in the country.

Also, Zanu-PF today conducts its internal elections across the country.

Bulawayo Harvest House International Church's Reverend Fuyani Moyo said COVID-19 rules and regulations should apply to everyone.

"We gather for vigil to praise God like we gather during the day, we adhere to COVID-19 rules and regulations, if they are banning our gatherings that should apply to everyone," he said.

He called on the government to reconsider the ban.

A cleric, who declined to be named, said: "The Christian community is concerned about the ban on church gatherings. We know COVID-19 is real, but we have been adhering to the regulations at a time  government officials have been conducting rallies."

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association chairperson Ambrose Sibindi said: "When it comes to Zanu-PF programmes, the police turn a blind eye in enforcing the law, but if it is those that oppose the ruling party, the police deal with them ruthlessly. It is a pity that COVID-19 does not segregate."

Last week, police dispersed dozens of elderly people from a Christmas party hosted by MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa in Highfield in Harare.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe