OUTSPOKEN MDC Alliance legislator Settlement Chikwinya has attacked the Emmerson Mnangagwa led government over a patently blind imposition of a national lockdown without close consideration of the country’s unique circumstances.
In a blunt condemnation of the Harare administration’s controversial handling of the Covid-19 crisis, the Kwekwe lawmaker also blasted Mnangagwa for taking a month-long annual leave at a time the country needed leadership from its myriad challenges.
“We are on our own,” said Chikwinya in an interview with NewZimbabwe.
Following the resurgence of Covid-19 infections in the country, health minister and vice president Constantino Chiwenga weekend announced a list of lockdown measures set to run for 30 days.
They include a ban on informal businesses, a 6pm-6am national curfew, and ban on international travel by land transport. Hotels and air travel remain operational.
Chikwinya admits lockdowns were a recommended global tool used to contain the continued spread of Covid-19.
He however took a swipe at Zimbabwean authorities for a copy and paste job without pausing to consider the country’s different circumstances.
Said the legislator, “The difference Zimbabwe has with other countries like South Africa is that our government acts without planning.
“As we speak, the lockdown measures have segregated the poor from the rich.
“The poor have been locked down with no food and no medication so they die of hunger and Covid-19.”
Chikwinya said before imposing a lockdown, government should have made a plan to cushion the poor who live from hand to mouth daily through vending and other informal businesses.
“The rich with access to air travels, hotels and other luxuries have been allowed to continue mixing and mingling including travelling and spreading the disease,” he said.
“More sadly is that President Mnangagwa is blind to the urgency of the matter.
“No President who cares for his people goes on leave in such a health crisis and leaves an acting President who does not even know how many people have died due to Covid so far.
“It’s just pathetic and Zimbabweans must know that we are on our own.”