Public-private partnership paying off

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DESPITE teething financial problems facing the Zimbabwe government, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime seems to be doing well in mobilising resources to fight the spread of the lethal coronavirus.

By agreeing to work with the private sector and international development agencies in the country, Mnangagwa’s burden to get financial and material resources has to a large extent been lessened.

Public-private sector partnerships are only the viable way to confront, contain and mitigate the spread of the pandemic that has killed and infected thousands of people across the globe.

Mnangagwa and his team have gone out of their way in a commendable move to come up with interventions to cushion the poor and the vulnerable. They have also put in place some sort of stimulus package for companies that will certainly be distressed by Covid-19.

Some of the measures the government has operationalised to tackle coronavirus head on include the unfreezing of 4 000 health workers posts to enlarge the team to fight the disease. Additionally, the government created 200 more medical jobs.

It is working on creating a comprehensive insurance cover for health workers who will interface with coronavirus patients. This is in recognition of the dangers the frontline warriors face in the discharge of their duties and the need to compensate in case of harm.

The government has also mobilised both financial and material resources from development partners. Several pledges have been made to assist the cash-strapped Zimbabwe. The United Kingdom government has pledged 1,7 million pounds towards Covid-19, while the UK Department for International Development donated coronavirus protective equipment to Wilkins Hospital worth about 100 000 pounds.

The Chinese government, through its citizens operating business locally, are upgrading Wilkins Hospital that has been designated as a coronavirus referral health centre. The Development Research Centre of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China provided and delivered 3 000 daily protective masks through the Zimbabwe Embassy in China.

The Global Fund has pledged US$25 million to improve the country’s preparedness and strengthen local mechanisms against coronavirus, while World Bank will avail US$25 million of which US$5 million will support government prioritised Covid-19 preparedness and response plan. The European Union will provide 38 million Euro.

This level of support is overwhelming and the hope is that the financial and material resources will not be plundered by the greedy in government and positions of power. It also demonstrates that public-private sector partnerships works and that it’s also of great importance to rope in development partners in times of emergencies and disasters.

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