By Trevor Makonyonga
The panic that hit the nation on Thursday, March 4 2020 when South Africa confirmed her first positive case of COVID 19 would seem as if the virus was already in Zimbabwe. South Africa is some sort of extension of Zimbabwe with most households having relatives there, which worries many. This one confirmed case had people asking real questions like Is Zimbabwe really prepared for the Corona Virus? If one were to test positive, would the government be honest enough to tell the nation?
It is interesting how Health minister, Obadiah Moyo, has been all over the media assuring citizens that the nation is prepared to combat this deadly virus. What is fascinating is how the same ministry is struggling to provide simple medication; ARVs are scarce and now suddenly the nation can fight an incurable disease? Truth is the nation, Zimbabwe is not by any chance prepared for any sickness. The role of Zimbabwean hospitals has been reduced from health care centres to simple diagnostic arenas. One goes to the hospital and is assessed by the nurses and diagnosed of whatever ailment then the dispensing role and actual treatment is left to the person.
Then someone somewhere in his or her dreams tries to convince the nation that Zimbabwe is prepared. This is far from the truth.
In 2019, Cyclone ldai hit the country and the state failed to deal with the effects of this disaster. Bridges are still down, schools dilapidated, hundreds of people still missing, food scarce and people still living in temporary housing structures yet the government assured the locals of it’s disaster preparedness. The cyclone exposed how unprepared and how slow it is for the responsible authorities to react. There is little to no truth government’s utterances. How is it possible to trust people who want to change the supreme law to suit their needs? To them the people are not important.
Another scenario that proves the unreadiness of Zimbabwe is how the country cannot maintain sports facilities. To think that the Zimbabwe premier soccer league is about to start and the issue of grounds is yet to be resolved is appalling. This is a country with a whole administration failing to make good of what they have. It would seem as though the country is on autopilot and the plane is crushing. Things are not well in the country and that is the only truth that the government of the day is evading.
Recently, outspoken Norton Member of Parliament, Temba Mliswa, said Chinese nationals who are supposed to be “quarantined and being monitored” are walking freely exposing everyone to danger. The fact of the matter is that hospitals do not have the equipment, the police is incapacitated and there is no way as a country monitoring individuals can be afforded. It is unrealistic to say people are being monitored in their spaces of residence because no one can answer on who will be responsible for the monitoring. If people are dying of child birth, cholera and typhoid in this day and age, then how can a dummy on the readiness for corona virus be sold?
Zimbabwe now needs serious monitoring and evaluation. Forty years gone and there is no development whatsoever. Egos have to be quashed and the nation has to be rebuilt because if that is not done and COVID 19 rocks, what will become of us is untamed. Since there is no truthfulness and accountability, it is normal for people to panic as no one has confidence in anything the state says. As of now, it is suffice to hope and trust that the COVID 19 is not yet in and that it won’t ravage the nation.