FreeZim’s Busha Warns Of Rising Poverty As Covid-19 Lockdown Bites

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By Staff Reporter 

OPPOSITION leader, Joseph Makamba Busha has warned the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown put in place to curb the spread of the virus will only heap more misery on already suffering Zimbabweans groaning under an inept government.

Busha, who is the president of the opposition FreeZim Congress, predicted Zimbabwe would need another five years to address its poverty challenges brought by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“What we are going to see is an increase in poverty on already burdened Zimbabweans. Because of Covid-19 and lockdowns, it will take more than five years for Zimbabwe to recover from challenges created by Covid-19,” he told in an interview from his base in South Africa where he runs several businesses.

Makamba added the future of ordinary Zimbabweans was bleak as President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government was inept and bereft of ideas.

“We have a government that is inept and bereft of ideas. We have an inefficient and insensitive government which is uncaring to the plight of the poor. Our economy is not improving and we have a minister of finance (Mthuli Ncube) who has no idea of how to move our economy, taking models from overseas and implementing textbooks economics. Covid-19 and lockdowns have worsened the plight of the poor,” the 2018 election presidential hopeful said adding Zimbabwe was on autopilot.

“We are not going anywhere, because of economic hardships, social ills in our country are going to worsen. Job losses will be on the increase; retail businesses will close. It will take time to recover. This spells disaster for young people who are first time job seekers. The situation is generally bleak for Zimbabweans.”

Busha suggested the government was not supposed to impose a blanket lockdown for the whole country.

“The Covid-19 variations are affecting parts of the country differently. We were supposed to consider regional economic planning were lockdowns would be imposed considering Covid-19 hot-spots in the country.

“The effect of Covid-19 on Binga or Mutoko is different from Harare. In some places economic activities were supposed to continue without disturbances but those are the effects of poor planning,” he said.