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Zanu PF cannot celebrate blocking July protests, given worsening economy, it is when, not if, for next protests

03 Aug 2020 at 19:56hrs | Views
There is no doubt that President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his cronies will view the nonevent July 31st Street Protests as a political victory. But if the truth be told, this is not even a Pyrrhic victory since the regime mobilised and imposed the curfew, at great expense it must be said, but failed to address even one iota of the underlying causes of the protests.

The people are angry at the corrupt and incompetent regime that has all but destroyed the country's economy forcing unemployment to soar to the dizzying heights of 90%. 34% of the people, according to a 2019 World Bank report, now live in extreme poverty, i.e. they cannot afford one decent meal a day let alone other necessities such as education for their children and health care. Poverty is set to soar into even greater heights fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Zimbabwe, like many other nations, has imposed lockdown measures in an effort to contain the coronavirus, measures that have disrupted the little economic activities still taking place. The Zimbabwe economy was already in trouble before the coronavirus outbreak and so the disruption will only sink the economy into deeper trouble. To make matters worse, many Zimbabweans who had left the country to escape the economic meltdown have been returning in droves to swell up the numbers of the unemployed and destitute.

Zimbabweans have yet to wake-up to the reality of how this Zanu PF government's blundering incompetence have helped in the spread of coronavirus and therefore, in the end, costing hundreds of thousands of human lives. Zororo Makamba was the first reported coronavirus case and death in the country. It turns out the young man was allowed to mix with public even though he had coronavirus symptoms when he arrived at the airport. A Zanu PF leader overruled the immigration officials who wanted him placed in quarantine!

Ever since the Zororo Makamba case in March, the regime has failed to test, trace and track coronavirus cases aggressively. It beggars belief why even big referral hospitals like Mpilo and Parerinyatwa Hospitals have not been given the resources to test all those with coronavirus like symptoms. Indeed, even when hospitals have made their own arrangements for the tests, it is clear the government has not always included the confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in the official reports.

As of today 3rd August 2020, Zimbabwe has 3 921 confirmed cases and 70 deaths. Compare this to SA's 511 488 and 8 366 confirmed cases and deaths respectively. SA has not been testing as aggressively as other countries like South Korea have done, still SA has done a lot better than Zimbabwe! The real big price to be paid for failing to test aggressively is that many people will get the virus as the infected and those around them will not take even the most common sense precaution because they are blissfully unaware of the virus in the midst.

Zimbabwe's COVID-19 death toll could well be 2 000 (1/4 that of SA give our population is the same ratio), 40 times greater than the official death toll. And by the time the coronavirus finally blows over, there is a vaccine or cure, the real death toll in Zimbabwe will be hundreds of thousands, thousands of times greater than the official death toll.

Zanu PF is under-reporting the COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths to hide the regime's blundering incompetence in the handling of the pandemic. And so hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans will die of COVID-19 because the government entrusted with the power, authority and duty to test, track and inform the people of the virus deliberately kept them in the dark for selfish political reasons! If that truth was to sink in, every thinking Zimbabwean out there would be furious and demand the regime be held to account!

Zimbabwe has a bloated and well-resourced Army, Police and CIO who were all deployed to enforce the dawn to dust curfew to stop the street protest. And yet even the country's referral hospitals have no staff, equipment and even something as basic as clean running water. Such is the damning testimonial of the Zanu PF madness!

As long as nothing is done to end the country's worsening economic situation, Zanu PF has no clue how to revive the country's comatose economy, the people will be on the street to demand an end to their economic suffering.

So by imposing a no expense spared security curfew to stop the 31st July 2020 Street Protests, Zanu PF kicked the can down the road. This economic situation in which so many are condemned to poverty and hopelessness is unsustainable; it is just a matter of when, not if, the next street protests will happen. When that happen, hell will break loose; the people's decades of bottled up anger will be a tsunami to overwhelm the regime and its security forces.

The tragedy here is that Zanu PF has stifled debate and all democratic means to bring about peace change leaving the nation with no other choice but to resort to violent street protests or worse. It should be said here and now that the regime, its apologists and the corrupt opposition, for their role in failing to end the Zanu PF dictatorship even when they had the opportunity to do so, will be held to account for mischief, damage death and destruction that the violent street protests will bring!

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