Annual inflation in Zimbabwe is above 500%; unemployment rate at 90% – no food, no medicine, no water, no light in many places – adding lockdown to these depressing menaces equals suicide in Zimbabwe and many other African nations.
However, Zimbabwean authorities on Monday (March 30) began enforcing a three-week lockdown in its fight against the spread of coronavirus after the disease left one person dead and infected six others.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a 21-day “total” lockdown from Monday curtailing movement within the country, shutting most shops and suspending flights in and out of Zimbabwe.
Police mounted checkpoints on routes leading to Harare’s central business district, stopping cars and turning away pedestrians who had no authorisation to be in the area.
As African countries fight coronavirus, it is wise they calculate the losses they will suffer by applying blanket lockdown especially in areas where it is not imperative – the way Zimbabwe has declared a total lockdown.
December last year, the World Food Programme declared that Zimbabwe was facing its worst hunger crisis with about 7.7 million people without food security. That is half of the population.
The country’s population is currently estimated to be 14.8 million people out of which only 7 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been recorded with one fatality. Obviously, Zimbabwe is not a high risk coronavirus zone. WHY IMPOSE A LOCKDOWN TO COMPOUND THE PROBLEMS THE PEOPLE HAD BEEN ENDURING EVEN WITHOUT CORONAVIRUS?
African leaders need to think critically for locally compliant solutions than add more problem to the evils on the continent.
Panic resounds throughout Zimbabwe on Monday as many rush to get groceries and other useful essentials to cope with the lockdown. And there are many who don’t even have money to buy anything.
“All citizens are required to stay at home, with the exception of those seeking health services, buying food, medicine and vital supplies, and those manning our essential services,” President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Friday as he announced the lockdown.
“I know that these measures may seem drastic, and will upset all of our daily lives, but there is no other way”.