ED speaks democracy, says returning locals to face Covid-19 quarantine

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By Mary Taruvinga

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabweans based abroad should feel free to return home but must submit themselves to compulsory quarantine.

He was speaking in a televised address to the nation to mark the country’s 40th independence anniversary Saturday.

World countries, Zimbabwe included, have imposed tough travel restrictions on foreigners amid the continued spike in cases of Covid-19 in their respective territories.

Citizens returning from different countries have found themselves stranded in foreign land amid a ban on air travel, coupled with lockdowns, as the world grapples with the unprecedented health catastrophe.

Said Mnangagwa in his address, “In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, government took a deliberate position to welcome home any and all Zimbabweans from diaspora who want to come home. They are part of us.”

The president said those returning home must present themselves for mandatory 21-day quarantine to prevent the spread of the disease.

The Zimbabwean leader, whose government has been accused of visiting brutalities on citizens, urged a stop to violent conflict in the country.

“Fellow countrymen and women, unity, peace, development and hard work must remain the hallmark of our country. Violent disagreements and conflicts should never again be given leeway in our wonderful country,” he said.

“The Second Republic is a Republic of rights, of peace, love, harmony, dialogue and of inclusive development which leaves no one behind.”

Mnangagwa said democratic principles, accountability, good governance, rule of law and constitutionalism which the country’s liberators sacrificed for, must be consolidated.

“We are now a 40-year-old democracy, a mature nation.”