By Lloyd Takawira
Government has hinted at a total shutdown for Harare and Bulawayo following a spike in confirmed Covid-19 cases in the capital cities.
This move has however been interpreted as a way to counter the impending 31July mass demonstration.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana in a twitter post said that due to the rise in numbers of COVID-19 cases the government will have to shutdown Bulawayo and Harare.
Mangwana said, “The government previously responded with sheer force to massive protests – in August 2018 and January 2019, with over two dozen people losing their lives.”
He added, “Harare has the vast majority of Covid-19 cases. Yesterday (Tuesday), Bulawayo recorded 30 of the 53 positive cases. If there is any scaling up of containment measures, a more surgical approach is better. It means full-scale lockdown should only apply to Harare and Bulawayo”.
The country has been in perpetual national lockdown introduced on March 30 to contain the spread of the virus, with some easiness and most businesses have been allowed to re-open by President Mnangangwa.
Harare and Bulawayo by Wednesday had recorded a spike in coronavirus cases which are now at 885 according to the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
The country has been in jittery mode since opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume and presidential adviser, Shingi Munyeza and former Zanu PF youth commissar Mr Godfrey Tsenengamu of Front For Economic Empowerment Zimbabwe (FEEZ) and a host of opposition leaders have been rallying for a demonstration dubbed #zanupfmustgo.
The demonstration has also been endorsed by the country’s main opposition leaders including main opposition MDC-Alliance as well as outspoken Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa.