Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, yesterday said Zimbabwe is in the midst of an existential threat, COVID-19, in a message that dissuades mass action.
The Minister sent such a message Transform Zimbabwe, President Jacob Ngarivhume urged Zimbabweans to voice out against economic and political challenges facing the country through a mass action slated for the 31st of July 2020.
Posters of mass action with Ngarivhume’s face have since the day of announcement on Twitter, 28 June 2020, circulated on social media.
Mutsvangwa said,” Any political posturing is not helpful. We, therefore, call upon public figures and political players to act responsibly with the safety of Zimbabweans in mind.”
“Any call for mass action at this time is an unnecessary stoking of infection risk to the nation. This country cannot afford adventurism in the midst of this threat to our very existence.”
The Information Minister said the COVID-19 pandemic is nowhere close to loosening its grip on humanity and it is spreading.
“On the global stage, infections continue to rise with current statistics at 12 million, with recoveries at 6.5 million and deaths at 548 000. Within the region, there is a similar trend, with a spike in cases in neighbouring South Africa.”
“On 1 July, Zimbabwe recorded 14 new cases, on the 4th the number shot to 73 new cases, and yesterday our numbers jumped to 98. It is in view of this heightened increment in infection cases that I urge the public to continue to adhere to the lockdown regulations and practice preventatives and protective behaviour.”
“Government is urging each and one of us against complacency,” Mutsvangwa went on.
With inflation eroding people’s incomes, civil servants in including in the health sector have participated in demonstrations towards for better wages and also salaries in foreign currency.
Zimbabwe’s security sector has recently arrested teachers and nurses who were conducting demonstrations on allegations of breaking the COVID-19 emergency measures which restrict gatherings.
Government critics accuse the government of taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to shrink Zimbabwe’s democratic space.