ON Monday, church leaders, who gathered at State House at the invitation of President Emmerson Mnangagwa for a national day of prayer and fasting, declared the end of COVID-19, saying Zimbabwe would henceforth not record new cases anymore.
One of the clerics, Abel Sande, alleged that God had told him in spirit that no more new COVID-19 cases would be recorded.
“Look at how many people have died across the world, but we only have four here. COVID-19 won’t spread in Zimbabwe because what has been bound on earth has been bound in heaven,” Sande thundered.
Clearly, he was not on the wavelength with God because the country recorded four new COVID-19 cases on the same day.
Last year, church leaders from various denominations gathered at the same venue and declared the end of sanctions in the name of God, but almost 12 months down the line the embargo is not only yet to be removed, but was extended. The United States has made it clear that sanctions can only be removed if the Zanu PF government undertakes the necessary political and economic reforms and stops oppressing its people.
With the ongoing harassment of opposition and civic society activists, the suppression of human rights and corruption going on unchecked, the so-called new dispensation has not only borrowed the template from the late ex-President Robert Mugabe, but is aggressively widening it. That path has proved to be ruinous for the country, but Mnangagwa has continued to push a similar line and hopes for a different result. That not only shows crass ineptitude, but makes a mockery of the “reformist” tag he has arrogated to himself.
Under Mnangagwa’s watch, corruption has gone unabated. We are tempted to believe that the Zanu PF leader is surrounded by criminals who are pocketing public funds by abusing their proximity to power. In the court of public opinion, the President is actually aiding and abetting corruption.
Returnees in quarantine centres are starving at a time the First Family’s close associates are lining their pockets. The government is failing to provide grants to vulnerable groups, not because it is broke, but evidence on the ground shows that the funds are being abused.
The government should account for every cent donated towards the fight against COVID-19. Zimbabwe will not flatten the curve by praying and fasting and no amount of prayer and fasting will resuscitate the economy as long as we continue doing the wrong things