In its recent statement, the Zimbabwe Divine Destiny (ZDD), a Christian advocacy organisation that facilitates the Church’s visibility and audibility on matters of governance, applauded the government for its response to COVID-19 crisis by the deployment of a wide range of workforce from health personnel to the police and army and other ancillary services to deal with the challenges associated with the pandemic.
ZDD Executive Director Bishop Ancelimo Magaya said that as the church they noticed and acknowledged the good intention by government to contain the spread of this menacing virus. He said the relatively low number of infections may also be attributed to the response by the government but more can be done in many respects.
“It is our hope as the church that the Cyclone Idai experiences of poor disaster management compounded by corruption, ought not to be repeated if anything the nation particularly government should be above the situation by now.
Stories of unfair food distribution to the needy and vulnerable on partisan lines should never be heard of, nor experienced under this ravaging pandemic which knows no creed nor colour. Therefore, the government is strongly warned and reminded that the eyes of the world are watching. Failure to treat all citizens alike under these circumstances brings shame and dishonour not only to the government but to the nation as a whole,” said the outspoken Bishop.
ZDD urged the government to take decisive action on errant officials, councillors or whoever makes reckless statements attempting to politicise COVID-19 assistance to vulnerable communities. The Churches Consortium even went further to suggest that it was better that councillors and politicians be left out of the process as they believe that government structures are well able to do it and do it without fear nor favour.
Bishop Magaya also applauded the courts for chastising the security forces for being high-handed with civilians who may have crossed the line during the lockdown. The security sector should apply the law to lawbreakers and not brute force, he said.
“Lastly, we urge the government to direct its own resources and other aid towards providing adequate and appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) for frontline staff beginning with Nurses, doctors and all those in the health sector involved in combating this scourge. Alongside these, the police army and other personnel ought to be fully kitted in terms preventative clothing otherwise we will curb this virus from one end yet allow it to spread through the other.
We are mindful of the resource constraints faced by the nation, but we implore the government to acquit itself well, in terms of the aid money pouring in from various sympathisers. We expect nothing short of a high degree of morality, accountability, transparency and a departure from our old way of doing things where embezzlements, maladmin, other ills and ineptitudes characterise our discharge of duty. We urge the nation to adhere to set out policies and regulations for the sake of the whole nation,” the church said.
On Thursday, while launching the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services’ Call and Data Centre, President Mnangagwa expressed concern over increases, almost daily, of COVID-19 confirmed cases, a development he says makes it crucial for the corporate world to continue assisting Government in all ways possible to fight the pandemic.
Latest statistics show that Zimbabwe has recorded 24 COVID-19 confirmed cases and three deaths.
Health experts, business leaders and social commentators in Zimbabwe and beyond have been unanimous in urging caution and prudence in the crafting of new measures which guarantee public safety and socio-economic well-being.
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