THE failure by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and officials in his government to observe COVID-19 restrictions once again exposes the hypocrisy that characterises the Zanu PF government.
On Saturday, Mnangagwa officiated at the graduation of 1 200 prison officers in Ntabazinduna near Bulawayo despite a government ban on all gatherings except funerals earlier this month.
At the event, he freely mingled with the graduates without wearing a mask and in defiance of social distancing rules.
The careless attitude was again on display on Sunday when Health deputy minister John Mangwiro organised a party for Zanu PF supporters in his Chikomba West constituency.
While Mangwiro did not attend the party, it was reckless just the same for him to organise it in the first place given that the country is in the throes of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
New infections and deaths have risen sharply in the past fortnight, forcing government to impose localised lockdowns in Kwekwe, Hurungwe, Karoi, Kariba and sections of Bulawayo, among others.
This makes government’s ban on gatherings ring hollow. This “do as we say and not as we do” attitude will be the downfall of the country. Our leaders are incapable of leading by example and their double speak rankles when it is putting lives of ordinary people in danger.
It also shows government’s disgraceful double standards that authorities arrested opposition MDC Alliance party members, among them Joanah Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri, Netsai Marova and Fadzayi Mahere for defying the same regulations that they are flouting.
Isn’t it ironic that Zanu PF politicians and members gather at will, breaking the same rules they accuse the opposition of breaching?
Hypocrisy has become part of the fabric of the Zanu PF government.
It is embarrassing that a government that brands itself as the new dispensation says one thing and does the opposite.
How can government expect to be taken seriously when it continues to shoot itself in the foot everyday?
As experts are warning, the country is facing the gravest danger since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Zimbabwe’s health system was weak before the pandemic, and the past year has wreaked more havoc.
The danger posed by the mutating virus and its variants mean that there will not be an easy way out. We are seeing that the Delta variant, which originated from India, transmits faster and is fuelling the new wave across the globe, and has forced new hard lockdowns in South Africa, parts of Australia and much of the globe.
Zimbabwe cannot afford to pretend that the situation is normal, because it is not and its leaders need to lead by example. It is sad that a whole President is leading the crusade to break the restrictions. It is not surprising that his ministers, party officials are following suit. This sorry regime is a disgrace.
The fight against COVID-19 will be futile as long as the government continues with such double standards.