Residents welcome EU, World Bank Covid-19 aid but are wary of gvt stance on poor
By The Editor
ZIMBABWEANS have welcomed the recent move by the Western donor community to assist the
country which is under economic turmoil exacerbated by the recent new corona virus-induced
lockdown aimed at curbing the pandemic which has brought the informal economy to a
In a snap survey by Zim Community News most residents interviewed in the Greater Harare
area welcomed the move by the EU and the World Bank, but expressed their disappointment in
President the Emmerson Mnangagwa government’s handling of the economic crisis at local
According to a vendor interviewed by Zim Community News in Glen Norah, what has riled the
poor people was the recent demolitions of their stalls and what the called efforts by the
government to destroy the opposition MDC party led by Nelson Chamisa, instead of seeking
unity to resolve the crisis caused by the global pandemic.
“The government has destroyed any hope that we had, we lost our jobs when companies
shutdown due to the harsh economy, we are now looking after our families through vending
and they destroy our stalls.
“I was surprised to hear that the donors have decided to assist us, given that our government
has decided to frustrate the opposition leader Chamisa.”
A youth in Chitungwiza, Tinotenda Munongerwa, said his fear was that the donors would turn a
blind eye to the lifting of sanctions in Zimbabwe since the government through the recent
demolitions has shown that it did not care about the poor.
“The government should be also be worried about how its people should put food on the table
first so that other countries can come in and assist to manage the spread of the virus.
An elderly woman in Mbare, who preferred to be called Gogo Rice said while she had not heard
about the recent aid by EU and World bank she was happy that they are people who are still
sympathetic to the poor in Zimbabwe and asked them to provide sugar and mealie meal for
porridge to her orphaned grand-children that were under her care.
Last week the WB and the EU unveiled packages to fight Covid-19 in the country.
The WB will grant $7 million to help it fight the new coronavirus outbreak that is expected to
worsen an already struggling economy and food crisis, a bank spokesman revealed.
The Bank said that while Zimbabwe and other countries indebted to the lender could not access
regular financing, they could get money from its trust funds to fight the coronavirus that has
slowed down the global economy.
Zimbabwe is more than $1.2 billion in arrears to the World Bank, African Development Bank
and European Investment Bank, making it ineligible for funding or debt forgiveness from global
The EU will release US$75 million of this, US$40 million was released through the United
Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)’s Health Development Fund, while US$35 million was pledged
by EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilaine.
The intervention comes as strained relations between Zimbabwe and the EU have thawed in
the past few years.