Lockdown: Hope cannot be a strategy


IN a few days, Zimbabwe’s three-week proposed lockdown will come to an end amidst more pandemonium and confusion.

While the rationale of the lockdown was to ensure that the disease does not spread through contact by restricting the movement of sellers, buyers and any other persons, the situation on the ground has been and, indeed, remains the downright opposite of the intended purpose.

To any logical mind, it is apparent that the proposed purpose of the lockdown, which was to keep people in their homes and curb association physically, has hardly been achieved.

It is, indeed, by sheer grace of God that the disease has not descended with the equal measure of ruthlessness it has unleashed in other states.

I hope our leaders in Africa generally and the modern pretentious prophets should take this time to reflect on the emptiness of amassing massive wealth in private jets and homes at the expense of the common people. Such things have been rendered worthless in this crisis.

It was and, indeed, remains overwhelmingly urgent for the national leadership to preach the gospel of staying indoors more than anyone else.

In fact, not just preachments, but real action even if it meant the message is driven home mordantly.

For all his faults, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had a picture of him taken while exercising at home and encouraging people to stay at home.

The message gets home succinctly, never mind the image of a president in pyjamas.

Back home, it is apparent that our leaders seem not to have a strong “why”.

When one has a burning cause; a compelling reason to do something, even their manner of speaking attests to it.

Their words and body will communicate a single solid message, which things don’t seem evident in our efforts even as the lockdown began. It was as if to, in the Zimbabwean case, imitate what is in vogue.

Most countries called upon lockdown on their citizens and businesses and it must not simply be a matter of imitating but also understanding the dynamics of the country.

Right now, one wonders whether we have solid facts to warrant the end of a lock down or its continuance.

It would appear our decisions are premised on the events in other nations. Zimbabwe’s COVID-19 preparedness verily seems to lack the way.

We also saw authorities incredibly inviting delegations from interest groups meeting at State House to map ways of controlling the diseases.

Among a host of other ludicrous things in the wake of the killer disease, people including top government officials were congregating to receive little donations as they ironically fought the spread of the disease.

Earnestly, this is not the auspicious time to be holding meetings or promoting the same either by deed or word.

To add, those tasked with enforcing compliance themselves seem unaware that COVID-19 is not selective of whether one is a law enforcer or not.

It had to take the caustic invective of social media for some few of the security men to wear the protective masks.

Our efforts as a country must exist in truth and in spirit.

One fails to comprehend the logic in allowing for the operation of potential COVID-19 hotspots such as Mbare Musika. Allowing financial institutions to open for any reason is tantamount to inviting the public.

It should be totally grasped that a serious lockdown will definitely take away some important freedoms of people.

That is an irrefutable fact.

What has been seen so far is that the government seems to have hope as its only strategy.

Indeed, it is the hope of every sane human being that this monstrous disease may come to an end but it must be fully grasped that we need more than hope.

Real planned actions and viable strategy are necessary. A whole government cannot use hope as strategy.

The situation on the ground is living testament that we have no post-lockdown strategy.

What change in circumstance do we have that warrants the continuance of a lockdown or end thereof?

With less than 500 people tested in the whole country, should the lockdown come to an end? There has to be some logic used to make this vital decision. The nation needs sound facts on which to base a decision of the lockdown period.

Most countries have extended the lockdown period in accordance to notable patterns and observable phenomena.

Indications are that the lockdown period in Zimbabwe may extend a little generally, but with what rationale?

Zimbabwe, as a country, seems to be simply regurgitating what is occurring in other nations without taking an intimate look at the situation on the ground in their particular circumstances.

The post lockdown period is more decisive and if not handled well might easily prove to be the final undoing and demise of many innocent souls.

 Learnmore Zuze is a legal officer. He writes in his personal capacity


  1. Thank you Mr Zuze for a very informative and enlightening article,Keep on writing more articles .

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