By Trevor Makonyonga
“24 hours after declaring a National Disaster & banning public gatherings, the Zimbabwean President is addressing a political party rally at a secondary school. Yesterday I was jokingly describing the announcement as motivated more by peer pressure & lacking conviction.”
These are the words of Alex Magaisa a lawyer and former advisor to the late MDC founding father, Morgan Tsvangirai.
Magaisa’s comment echoes the thoughts of almost every other citizen.
Just yesterday the president banned with immediate effect big gatherings; sport events, Independence celebrations, Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.
He even urged citizens not to travel abroad. Only to go back on his word by attending a political rally.
According to state controlled paper, The Herald “thousands” were in attendance at Bumhira Secondary School in Nyamaropa.
There is a problem that has been bred in the country and is now seemingly normal. What is said on the screens by the political leaders is not what really transpires on the ground.
When the president fails to follow his own instruction less than 24 hours after making the state address, it proves two things. Firstly he doesn’t take the people he purports to be leading seriously or secondly he dims himself way too powerful that his words naturally have lost lustre and strength.
We no longer know if the todya muriwo nemapotato or mortuary inotonhorera speeches were jokes or if it is the actual nature of our current president.
After saying that his Defence minister was out of line by suggesting that the Corona Virus was sent by God to punish the West, his actions seem to suggest that he is relaxed and indeed thinks that Corona is indeed a western disease.
Universities have over 100 students in a class, one ZUPCO bus carries over one hundred people and our medical facilities have one nurse catering for hundreds of people. Still the President doesn’t see a need to cancel such but instead has the time to gather thousands of people even after his decree slated that this was not to be done.
This has been proof also that the law in Zimbabwe is meant for others while the elite and ruling class do as they please.
Imagine what will be of Zimbabwe if the Corona Virus hits the country, what will become of the thousands of people queuing for ZUPCO daily? What of those who want mealie meal? Spare a thought for such areas as Copa Cabana, Mupedzanhamo and Makoni in Chitungwiza.
What could happen if just one person is infected at such a place? Already our country has it bad, isn’t it better for the country’s leadership to make real preventive measures that ensure safety of the citizens. The President has to live up to what he says not to just make decrees to seemingly go with the what the world says.
Corona is not an issue of fitting in but a pandemic which needs to be taken seriously. The President has to explain what went on today but then again who are we to ask for explanations.