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Zimbabweans trapped between a Rock and a Hard surface

24 May 2020 at 21:57hrs | Views
In the absence of any clear exit strategy out of the government sanctioned covid-19 lockdown, Zimbabweans find themselves in limbo.

The masses are still unable to access state benefits, food or even running water, fear continue to grip the people as they do not know what the future holds.

In Emmerson Mnangagwa's phase two relaxation of the lockdown; most informal sectors remain closed, and people continue to suffer from hunger as they are not working.

The informal sector constitutes over 90% of Zimbabwe's employment and most of these jobs fall outside the governments essential jobs category.  

Reports of upsurge in malaria cases in recent weeks as well as covid-19 cases within the country has raised concerns over the governments capabilities to see the country out of this situation.

Once again, the Zimbabwe elite remain unscathed and the populace find themselves trapped in these difficult situations.

The ZANU-PF led administration has been widely criticised for merely "copy-pasting," covid-19 strategies being implemented in other countries regardless of the differences in the economic circumstances as well as needs of the people.

In Zimbabwe people do not have access to running water, and implementation of a lockdown without addressing such key issues was a clear reflection on some of the short falls the ZANU-PF led administration has had over the years.

"ZANU-PF as an administration is narrow minded and does not have foresight on the implications that their actions have, especially on the masses," said Munashe, a Political Science student in Zimbabwe.

A lockdown was a noble gesture, but in the absence of proper strategies on how best to keep the people safe and fed, it can have negative effects.

Earlier this week Mnangagwa ordered the relaxation of the lockdown restrictions in the countries phase 2 strategy, but this has not done much in as far as alleviating the lives of the vast majority of Zimbabweans who fall under the informal sector and outside the essential jobs category.

Extension of the lockdown is a welcome action considering the depth and continued high deaths as a result of covid-19 across the globe. It is the governments sole duty to implement policy and it is also its duty to see to it that its citizenry does not starve to death.

Every other country across the globe has been affected negatively, and circumstances are worse in poor countries such as Zimbabwe who were already facing economic problems even before the pandemic hit.

Other governments are offering their citizenry financial assistance to cushion them against the negative impacts covid-19 has had on their lives, the ZANU-PF led government continues to watch from the side-line.

Reports of increase in malaria related dead's in the country has raised concerns within World Health Organization (WHO) and they believe that with covid-19 around, less attention is now being given to other pandemics.

"Deaths due to malaria and its comorbidities must continue to be prevented," said a recent WHO report.

The already dilapidated health system remains so volatile in case of a Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

The Zimbabwe Health Ministry reported 201 outbreaks across the country, and cumulative figures of 135,585 cases across the Malaria prone provinces in the country.

There is still no evidence or any clear record on the number of covid-19 testing recorded in Zimbabwe, and the unverifiability of verifiable statistics on infections in the country has raised questions globally. It remains a mystery on how many people have actually been infected or died from covid-19.

It is not clear whether some of these deaths are indeed malaria infections or it is a government coverup on covid-19 related deaths.

The country has so far reported 34 coronavirus related cases and 4 deaths, but over 201 Malaria outbreaks in the country.

World Health Organization, a United Nations global health agency said that a failure to maintain delivery of treated nets and access to antimalarial medicines, could result in up to over 769,000 people dying from malaria this year across the globe. These figures being double across sub-Saharan Africa.

Such high Malaria deaths levels were last seen over 20 years ago.

These numbers are very worrisome and the ZANU-PF administration should act swiftly to safeguard the populace, as they are the ones greatly affected.

Source - Prince Njagu
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