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Covid-19 got heads rolling in Zimbabwe starting in March - ZPP

The Zimbabwe Peace Project has reported that the outbreak of Covid 19 across the world has set heads rolling in Zimbabwe with government and various stakeholders scrambling to find solutions and preventative precautions again st the disuse.

In its latest report ZPP said in March 2020 citizens were preoccupied with the Corona Virus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) which wreaked havoc across the globe with 301051 deaths being recorded as of 30 March.

"Zimbabwe, which also recorded a few official cases proved to be ill-prepared to deal with the pandemic. The Wilkins hospital, which was designated as the main
referral centre for COVID-19 cases was not properly equipped to handle cases and had to be closed for renovations," ZPP reported.

"The President, Emmerson Mnangagwa called for a 21 day countrywide Lockdown as a way of controlling the spread of the virus. However, there were no clear measures put in place to ensure every citizen, particularly the less privileged, are able to go through the 21 days without facing survival challenges, especially considering that Zimbabwe's economy is largely informal and people survive from hand to mouth."

ZPP said there was general apprehension among members of the society as government appeared to take a laid-back approach in detecting and dealing the COVID-19 cases, leaving citizens without a full understanding of the impact
and implications of the disease.

"The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, Dr. John Mangudya announced that citizens could now transact using the United States Dollar (USD) until further notice. This received mixed reactions from citizens, some of
whom believed the bank was taking advantage of COVID-19 to "sneak" back the USD," ZPP reported.

"During the first few days of the lockdown, there were widespread reports that pointed to harassment and beatings of civilians by state security agents deployed to enforce the lockdown. Videos and images emerged of police officers beating up people, confirming the fears expressed by the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), and reaffirming the organisation's position that police and enforcement agents are supposed to conduct themselves in a professional and ethical way, and are supposed to carry out their activities with the respect of human rights in mind."

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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