By Wellington Zimbowa
ZIMBABWE’s precarious position has furthered government and the people’s burden during this Covid-19 global pandemic epoch, albeit the scourge has triggered a strong sense of national unity with high optimism of a post Covid-19 future.
Government spokesperson, Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa said there is concerted refocus on the public health sector, assuring the nation that the dilapidated health system is currently being revamped- thanks to private donor support and increased fiscus funding, in the wake of Covid-19, will benchmark some international standards.
In an interview with The BusinessConnect on Thursday, at her Harare Munhumutapa offices, the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister said a renewed nationhood spirit is now alive, amongst citizens, as noted by streaming donations from citizens and corporates, saying the country is moving in one block in a collective effort against the pandemic.
“I must say one thing that this pandemic and the Cyclone Idai that hit us last year. It has brought us together as Zimbabweans, close together in appreciation of who we are.
“And the response from each and every Zimbabwean, whether individuals or Zimbabwean corporates, small SME’s, who we have seen coming with donations to make it easier for this country to handle this pandemic, is very much encouraging,” she said.
Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and Wilkins Infectious Hospital in Harare, have been going through major renovations, with the minister saying the former will par some international health facilities that are being sort by some local citizens, who seek foreign medical treatment.
“Go into any province in the country now, there are major refurbishments going on, new buildings coming up and new furniture and equipment being availed,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the background of the demised country’s socio-economic setup emanates from the ruinous West imposed ‘illegal sanctions’, however commending the country’s two-decade endurance against the embargo as historic.
Hon. Mutsvangwa also confirmed that 70 percent (%) of the citizens in the informal sector are having trying times put food on the table, as the current Phase 2 lockdown regulations decreed by government prohibits the sector to open businesses in line with the United Nations World Health Organisation (WHO) Covid-19 combative guidelines.
She said this was a not an easy decision, but President Mnangagwa’s new administration had to focus on saving lives first and concentrate on reviving the economy upon emerging from the scourge.
“The pandemic has caused a lot of problems worldwide just not in Zimbabwe, economic growth has been slowed, especially in our country more than 80% are actually in the informal sector, which means they have to work every day to put food on the table.
“We find ourselves in a dilemma that on this side there Coronavirus and on this side there is an economy being heavily affected,” she said.
The inter-ministerial Covid-19 taskforce set up by President to coordinate the Covid-19 fight, said it has made great strides in its objectives, though there is still much to do.
The BusinessConnect last week reported that there is widespread hunger in the country, where basic commodities such as mealie-meal, with most ordinary people yearning to join the list of the vulnerable that are on the government and donor welfare schemes.
A 10kg mealie meal bag is pegged from US$4 to US$5 on the black market, while the recommended retail price is around ZW$70, but scarcily available.
Minister Mutsvangwa also highlighted that periodic droughts that the agro-based Zimbabwean economy also made life harder.
She emphasized that polarization has no place in Zimbabwe adding that where there is unity of purpose there is development, highlighting that government is grateful by the collective support from local and international donors from the friendly nations.
By Wellington Zimbowa