SENIOR STAFF WRITER
ACTING President Kembo Mohadi yesterday said increasing Covid-19 infections and deaths are threatening the recovery of Zimbabwe’s economy and urged citizens to buckle up as the government battles to contain the pandemic.
This comes as the authorities last week imposed a hard lockdown which has seen all other businesses closed for 30 days while those offering essential services are allowed to operate from 8am to 3pm.
The informal sector, which employs millions of Zimbabweans, is not allowed to operate for the duration of the latest lockdown.
The latest restrictions also come at a time when the government recently introduced its five-economic blueprint ― the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) ― which aims to grow the economy by five-percent annually until 2025.
Speaking during the burial of retired Brigadier-General Collin Moyo at the National Heroes Acre yesterday, Mohadi said citizens must continue to observe Covid-19 guidelines.
“As the nation mourns this national hero, we are faced with a deadly and silent killer, Covid-19, which has also robbed many families across the nation of a father, brother, sister, mother, daughter or son. This second wave of the lethal viral infection threatens the very core of our nation’s productivity.
“Whilst the late brigadier-general Moyo did not die of Covid-19 we are nonetheless cognisant, as a nation of the importance of the prevention of the spread of this virus by strict observance of the restriction regulations and the World Health Organisation protocols of frequent hand washing with soap or sanitise, proper wearing of masks, social distancing and staying at home unless it is absolutely imperative for one to leave their home,” Mohadi said.
This comes after the country on Monday recorded 820 new Covid-19 positive cases and 21 deaths, taking the cumulative death toll to 528 and infections to 22 297.
Mohadi said Zimbabweans must remain resolute as the government is working to revive the economy.
“Today, as we lay Moyo to rest among his comrades; I exhort all to note that as it was during the war of liberation, the economic war before us has a number of challenges, detours, delays and time detractors. This era calls for an unyielding resolve to continue among our people.
“We should continuously ask ourselves the following questions individually and collectively. What is the role I must play to pull Zimbabwe through? What is the role we all must play to build a brighter future for those coming after us?” he said.
Mohadi added that there was a need for an attitude change for the country’s economy to grow.
“This economic war needs no guns, but a people with a focused, transformative, diligent and productive mind. Armed with a positive winning mind-set we can make the economy tick once again.
“As Zimbabwe moves into the practical implementation of the National Development Strategy One, we seek to put it into practical form- that which we learn. This is why our universities are moving towards industrialisation and transformation of communities.
“The desire of the second republic is to build and transform the economic and social landscape of our great nation, Zimbabwe. We must never lose our focus from creating a prosperous Zimbabwe as guided by our national collective vision that leads us to 2030. We should not give up. Our gallant freedom fighters did not give up during the bombings and attacks by the enemy. We need to continue to fight to better the lives of our people,” he said.
Moyo died last Friday.