Zapu Says Lockdown Hurting The Poor

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

OPPOSITION Zapu says the current Covid-19 lockdown regulations will further hurt the country’s ailing economy while lamenting the suffering it has caused on ordinary citizens.

Following a dramatic increase on Covid-19 infections and deaths recently, the government a fortnight ago announced a month-long lockdown period accompanied by a 12-hour dusk-to-dawn curfew.

Other measures include a blanket ban on all informal trading activities, bottle stores, restaurants as well as intercity travel.

However, some formal businesses, hotels and air travel were spared from the embargo.

“It is baffling and indeed confusing when the government comes up with measures whose impacts on the daily lives of the people end up as painful as those of the virus,” Zapu presidential spokesperson Mkhululi Zulu told Monday.

“Impulsively bringing to a halt over 90% of economic activity for 30 days is clear evidence of a decision emanating from well entrenched dictatorial tendencies. Things will be worse after these 30 days of economic inactivity.”

Zulu said while the party appreciated reasons behind government’s Covid-19 intervention measures, there was need for authorities to balance that with citizens’ economic needs and other obtaining realities.

“The measures were just taken abruptly without balancing the control of spreading the virus and the economic needs and realities.

“People must eliminate the spread of the virus, but they must live because life must continue.

“It is not easy to comprehend the threat of Covid-19 when one is hungry. This is asking for too much from people who are struggling to survive on a daily basis,” Zulu said.

He said a lot of people in Bulawayo were understandably violating the Covid-19 regulations in order to find means of survival.

“We read elsewhere that the people of Zimbabwe generally, with specific mention of Bulawayo are ignoring lockdown regulations. For many of these people, it is not ignoring or breaking lockdown but a struggle for survival. There is nothing to eat. And they must look for food. Hunger is very painful.

“A government with a vision supports every economic endeavour by whoever who does so legally. We have read that other governments put aside millions of dollars to support companies during the lock downs.

“We have read of massive mobilisation of resources to cushion or even sustain the vulnerable members of the communities so that victory against corona will be for everyone,” added Zulu.