Government strongly warns citizens against spreading Covid-19 pandemic falsehoods

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The media and individuals should stop peddling falsehoods concerning Covid-19 deaths as this has a tendency of traumatising families and causing alarm and despondency.

Several false death reports of ministers and senior members of the ruling Zanu PF party were posted and circulated on social media last week causing anxieties among family members

Zanu PF national political commissar and Deputy Defence Minister Victor Matemadanda, Zanu PF Secretary for Finance Cde Patrick Chinamasa and Deputy President of Senate Lieutenant-General (Retired) Mike Nyambuya were some of the individuals alleged to have succumbed to Covid-19.

Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Permanent Secretary Mr Aaron Nhepera said it was unacceptable and unethical to publish falsehoods.

“Government has noted with deep concern, recent developments where mainstream media, social media and individuals are spreading falsehoods on how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the nation’s leadership.

“Members of the public are urged to desist from such tendencies that infringe on other people’s rights and cause unnecessary distress and anguish among the people affected,” he said.

Mr Nhepera said while Covid-19 had dealt a devastating blow, affecting close family members, acquaintances, colleagues and many others, it was not a justification for anyone to spread falsehoods that destabilised the nation.

He urged the nation to abide by the World Health Organisation (WHO) regulations on Covid-19 and the national lockdown restrictions.

President Mnangagwa recently said the nation was faced with a new kind of war and a new common enemy which required individuals and communities to unite to fight the pandemic.

“We must mask up wearing our masks properly, at all times covering the nose and mouth. We must stay at home, only leaving our homes when it is absolutely necessary. We must practise maximum hygiene at all times in all places. We must stop going to private parties and gatherings. We must report suspicious cases of returnees,” said the President.

— Herald


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