By Margaret Kamba
President and First Secretary of ZANU PF Cde E.D Mnangagwa says the country needs to continue being vigilant as more covid19 cases are recorded adding that transparency has characterised the covid19 donations to ensure that all Zimbabweans are protected from the deadly virus.
Speaking during the Principal Executive meeting of the Political Actors Dialogue, President Mnangagwa said there is need for vigilance to occur amidst a spike in the cases.
“As you are no doubt aware, the COVID19 outbreak has been with us for some time now and indications are that it will be with us for some time to come. The global health pandemic which has negatively impacted the whole world has seen many countries taking action to protect their citizens. On our part as Zimbabwe, we have implemented lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the disease with the increasing number of cases attributable to our returning citizens mainly from South Africa. In the past week, there has been a spike in the numbers and the numbers of local transmissions have also increased,” President Mnangagwa said.
“However, all is being done to reduce the further spread of the disease. More tests are being carried out and the World Health Organisation guidelines are being adopted with regard to the discharge of patients from quarantine centres across the country.
“Law enforcement agents have increased their vigilance with regard to the following: patrolling undesignated cross points, enhancing security measures at quarantine centres deter people from escaping and reporting any members to return to communities without clearance from authorities at quarantine centres.
“Stern measures are necessary to safeguard the lives of the people. Valuable lessons have been drawn from some countries such as Germany, Australia and others within Africa that quickly lifted lockdown measure and were subsequently forced to reconsider. I call on us all to remain steadfast and focused on the security of our people and save lives.”
President Mnangagwa said true to the precepts of the Second Republic transparency was being maintained in all covid19 donations.
“The pandemic has had both positive and negative results. In responding to the pandemic, corruption has reared its ugly head. We continue to investigate corrupt activities and take swift action whenever such cases arise. The global health emergency has revealed weaknesses relating to our health system that is, initially inability to handle the emergency due to inadequate equipment and medical supplies,” Cde Mnangagwa said.
“However, Government has since directed most of its funding to fight the scourge. I declared a State of Disaster in March 2020 and we have continued to receive numerous donations in cash and kind from our citizens, individuals and corporates as well as bilateral and multilateral partners world-wide. The full compendium of our benefactors is published in the media and continues to be updated in line with the 2nd Republic’s thrust of fostering transparency.”
Meanwhile appearing before a Parliamentary Committee yesterday, Civil Protection Unit Director Nathan Nkomo said a manual capturing system will complement the computerised system in ensuring that transparency to the donations is done.
Nkomo indicated that donations have been coming in the form of cash and services, pledges and kind among others. He said some pledges have not yet come through and investigations are ongoing as to ascertain what happened with some imports having already occurred.
“We are giving openness and transparency of all covid19 donated goods. We first acknowledge receipt of the goods and then publish the donations in the most widely read newspaper. Manual registers will be used to support the computerised registers on covid19 donations. Provincial food distribution to the ten Provinces is done so that a safe stock level is maintained.”
He noted that Government through Treasury and Finance has already committed $1, 9 billion towards a set target of 7.5 billion towards the pandemic.
To date over 1000 cases and 19 deaths have been recorded and health officials are on high alert towards protecting the public. They have been recommending regular washing of hands, sanitising and practising social distance as some of the health guidelines.