Gvt must take heed of Strive Masiyiwa’s call

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IN this issue we carry a story that exposes the relaxed attitude displayed by Zimbabweans as they slowly  fail to take heed of restrictive measures  put in place  by government to reduce the spread of the Covid-19  pandemic.

IT came as a huge surprise globally when our generations began to experience restrictions in the form of total lockdowns, a matter we had thought belonged to the dustbins of history.

These restrictions were globally applied and in China were the virus is reported to have originated from, they are said to have worked.

However, in Zimbabwe on paper, soccer matches have been banned, but if you go to football grounds in high density areas they are packed with supporters watching their favourite players, some from the premier league in the country participating in the ‘money game’.

That our elite soccer players have been hit hard economically by the ban to an extent that they were now earning a few dollars through the back door and risking their lives, is testimony to the dire economic situation in the country.

In richer leagues both in Africa and beyond, it is the soccer players who were actually donating goods to the vulnerable members of society.

The case of Warriors player Willard Katsande, who plies his trade in the financially richer league in neigbouring South Africa, who donated foodstuffs to his hungry folks in rural Mutoko were he hails from is a case in point.

The question that quickly comes to mind is that, if our local players are facing such an economically unbearable situationmm, what of the granny who sells vegetables in the high density areas?

With the lock down restrictions that prohibit informal sector activities such as vending coupled with a lack meaningful assistance from government to cushion vulnerable members of society from the effects of the lockdown extensions what lies ahead for Zimbabweans is left into God’s hands.

Such an unfathomable scenario begets the government to take heed of the call by businessman and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa for African governments to collaborate with the private sector, donor community and faith-based organisations in national programmes that prioritise five areas; inform, test, trace, isolate and treat, in fighting the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Masiyiwa was recently appointed by the African Union as a special envoy to coordinate the Africa
private sector initiative for the procurement of personal protective equipment and other essential
supplies.

Our government cannot afford to be seen to be blaming those it says are calling for sanctions against the country and at the same time refusing to listen or sanction developmental projects from our successful local business people.

Such a disconnect becomes a test of our government’s resolve to carry out its constitutional mandate to improve the lot of our communities.

 

 

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