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Covid Knows No Supermen, Let’s Unite, Mnangagwa Says In SONA

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TimesLive


Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said there are no action heroes after four of his cabinet ministers succumbed to Covid-19 within a week.

In his state of the nation address on Saturday, Mnangagwa urged people to hang in there because, “government is engaging countries which have developed vaccines — help and relief are on the way”.

With annual inflation of 375% and a struggling local currency, the business sector has been badly affected by Covid-19 with little to no bailout from the government.

However, Mnangagwa expects the private sector to join hands with state actors and the donor community in finding resources to buy and roll out the vaccine.

On Friday, Zimbabwe registered 45 deaths, 476 new cases, 8,481 active cases and a recovery rate of 69.1%. Critics accuse the government of underreporting Covid-19.

The death of foreign affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo shook the president. He cut short his annual leave to cope with more deaths in his cabinet, the latest being transport and infrastructure minister Joe Matiza.

“We have lost more across the political divide. The danger we face needs us as Zimbabweans, whatever our station, colour, creed or politics, to be united in grief,” Mnangagwa said on Saturday.

“There are no spectators, adjudicators, no holier than thou, no supermen or superwomen.”

Mnangagwa took the reins of power back from his deputy, Constantino Chiwenga, who the presidency said would now go on leave suffering from fatigue as a result of the fight against the pandemic and family bereavements.

The president said Covid-19 is nothing compared to the war for independence, hence “we will overcome”.

But Zimbabweans on social media didn’t hold back in blaming the political elite for flaunting lockdown regulations by throwing parties in December.

Footage of numerous parties, where revellers included cabinet ministers and other members of the ruling elite who have since died,  found their way onto social media.