Exiled former Zanu PF national political commissar and G40 kingpin, Saviour Tyson Kasukuwere, has attacked the national lockdown measures signed into effect by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, saying the process was rushed without cognisance of socio-economic realities in the country.
In an interview with TellZim, Kasukuwere said the restrictions were a blind copy and paste act which failed to factor in the country’s own unique economic circumstances.
“Zim is under 21 days of lockdown which is normal but if you look at countries that have initiated lockdowns before us, they had proper plans on how their people will make ends meet.
“Zimbabwe is run by an informal economy. So many people are not formally-employed; meaning to say if they stay at home, no money will come their way. What will happen to those people under the lockdown? Surely they will starve. Mnangagwa should have known this before locking the country down,” said Kasukuwere.
He said the lockdown days will have a devastating impact on livelihoods like no other government action before.
Government recently announced that it will launch a mitigatory exercise to cushion a million vulnerable families through a cash transfer programme but many people fear the programme, like every other one in the past, will be politicised to sideline opposition members and supporters, real or perceived.
“Mnangagwa knew that coronavirus would eventually reach Zim but they chose to be spectators instead of preparing to cushion the people.
Every Zimbabwean is in need so I do not know which criteria they are going to use in choosing and helping the vulnerable.
“Covid-19 is real but our people are risking their lives by defying the lockdown because they do not have food in their homes. They would rather take their chances with coronavirus than watch their families starve.
“Zimbabweans do not have savings, so where does Mnangagwa think that the people will find money to buy food? Zimbabweans live one day at a time and the majority does not even know what tomorrow will bring.
“In other countries, people have a back-up from their savings accounts which are enough to carry them through the lockdown periods,” said Kasukuwere.
Another exiled former Zanu PF politician, Walter Mzembi, has suggested that government must send an equivalent of US$5 directly to each citizen to help everybody cope with the difficult lockdown period.