(Last Updated on January 5, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangangwa who is on a month-long holiday took to social media to urge citizens to adhere to the set restrictions as the country enters another level four lockdown.
“Zimbabwe is entering a second lockdown to stop the spread of a COVID19 second wave. Please, for the sake of your family and loved ones, avoid large gatherings and non-essential travel. This is the final push – let’s defeat this virus for good,” wrote Mnangagwa on his Twitter account.
Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Constantino Chiwenga announced that the country will be on a tighter lockdown with effect from today (5 January 2021) after the country saw a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the past weeks.
The situation was worsened by the festive season parties which violated the set regulations leading to a public outcry and the subsequent arrest of some people involved in these parties.
However, a few days before the lockdown was announced, the Information Ministry advised the nation that President Mnangagwa will be going on holiday from 1 January to 2 February 2021.
“We wish to advise the Nation that HE, President ED Mnangagwa will be taking his holiday break from the 1 January 2021 to the 2nd of February 2021. Hon VP Mohadi will be acting President from 1 January to 14 January 2021. Hon VP, Dr CGDN Chiwenga from 15 Jan to February 2021,” said the Information Ministry.
The announcement sparked outrage, with many citizens not impressed that the President would go on a holiday while the nation was facing multiple forms of crisis.
Further criticism erupted as the country prepared for lockdown while there were no signs that the President would cut short his holiday.
Commenting on the country’s situation, exiled former Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo urged the President to cut short his holiday.
“Dear President Mnangagwa, Sir, you need to scrap your holiday and return to work urgently to save lives and livelihoods. The coronavirus is sweeping across the country, leaving people helpless; as they see loved ones dying or failing to get treatment, as Covid-19 cases spike!” said Moyo.