Zimbos should rise, donate to Covid-19

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HARRY PETER WILSON – AS the coronavirus (Covid-19) spreads across the continent, it is encouraging that there are successful African businesspeople, entertainers and footballers who have chipped-in to donate financially and materially to help fight against the virus.

Equally impressive have been African businesses, banks and companies that have sprung out to share part of the wealth to stop coronavirus from spreading.

While the media has been reporting the various gestures by these illustrious individuals and institutions in Africa, I challenge wealthy Zimbabweans to be counted among those who will come to the community’s aid.

In Zimbabwe we also have wealthy churches, their pastors and prophets who over the years have publicly exhibited extraordinary wealth, part of which they can donate towards the country’s health shortfalls; purchase of sanitisers, masks, gloves and medicines.

We also have successful footballers playing in Europe, South Africa and Asia who can also show us their humanitarian side by donating to the cause.

There are also musicians and artists in Zimbabwe who have made it, I challenge them to rise to the occasion and donate in whatever way they can.

I am impressed by Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa who is said to be offering assistance towards coronavirus with a donation that includes protective clothing, cash, life and health insurance and transport for nurses and doctors.

According to a statement from Ecosure, the insurance unit of Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe Ltd and part of Masiyiwa’s Econet group, will oversee the programme in which medical workers will receive a cash benefit of $500 per day in the event they are hospitalised and a lump-sum benefit of $50 000 in the event of permanent disability or death from the virus.

Initiatives by Sakunda Holdings to revive St Anne’s Hospital in Avondale, and Rock Foundation Medical Centre in Arundel to be used to cater for coronavirus patients are positive news.
African Medallion Group (AMG) has also announced a US$5 million financial aid package to Zimbabwe to help the country fight the Covid-19 outbreak which has claimed one life among nine confirmed cases so far.

The firm, which has bases in Zimbabwe and South Africa, also extended a R10 million facility to assist the latter deal with the same challenge.

It is my hope that any of the donations is not abused and that it reaches the intended beneficiaries.

While China’s richest man, Jack Ma donated 20 000 test kits, 100 000 masks and
1 000 protective suits to 54 African countries; across the continent there have been some impressive donations.
US Dollar billionaires, Johann Rupert, Patrice Motsepe and Nicky Oppenheimer donated R3 billion ($170,7 million) to tackle coronavirus in South Africa.

Ethiopia’s largest investor, Mohammed Ali-Amoundi has donated US$3,6 million to combat coronavirus in Ethiopia.
Chief Deji Adeleke (Davido’s dad), an energy and steel magnate, has donated N500 million (US$1,289 million) to the fight against coronavirus in Nigeria. He also donated
6 640 bags of rice to people in Osun State in the wake of the lockdown in the state.

African Development Bank (AfDB) has set up the world’s largest social bond, a $3 Billion fund to fight coronavirus across Africa.

First Bank has donated N1 billion for the acquisition of health facilities for isolation, testing and treatment for Coronavirus in Nigeria.

Footballers have also been on the frontline of the fight against coronavirus in Africa, reaching not just for social media to spread awareness of the dangers of the virus, but also for the cheque book.

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has made a donation of 30 millions FCFA — around 45 000 euros (£41 000) — to the national committee fighting against coronavirus in his home country of Senegal.
Montreal Impact midfielder Victor Wanyama is helping fight coronavirus back home, with 200 sanitising kits donated to families in the Nairobi, Kenya, slum of Mathare.

In Ivory Coast, former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba gave masks to the cathedral of Abidjan.

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