- Zimbabwe will take drastic measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus
- The country will go into lockdown on Monday following an announcement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa
- Zimbabwe's economy is on life-support and the lockdown will have a negative effect on the country's growth
President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced on Friday that the country will go into lockdown on Monday in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19.
The Zimbabwean economy is in dire straits as a result of a drought, shortages in foreign currency and a serious unemployment problem, with 90% of the population, not informal employment.
Briefly.co.za learned that Mnangagwa revealed in a live broadcast that only those who work for the state and the medical sector, including all health workers would be exempt from the lockdown.
“Some of the measures will be drastic and are sure to upset the daily routines of our lives. Should it become necessary, security forces will be deployed to assist in the enforcement of these measures,” says Mnangagwa.
Nelson Chamisa, one of Mnangagwa's fiercest critics and the opposition leader took the chance to show unity according to SABC.
“Politics aside, we must unite to save lives,” Chamisa wrote on Twitter.
So far Zimbabwe has confirmed 5 cases of the coronavirus and one death. The government has faced criticism for not taking the necessary actions to fight the spread of the virus.
The lockdown will harm the economy which has already experienced two consecutive years of recession and a contraction of 6%.
Many of Zimbabweans eke out a living by trading informally on the streets, the lockdown will leave them without an income or a means to survive financially.
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported on Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille announcement that the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe will be secured.
Emergency procurement procedures have been invoked to ensure 40 kilometres of fence along the border is repaired and, in some places, erected.
De Lille commented on the decision to make repairing the fencing a priority in the midst of the pandemic:
"This is to ensure that no undocumented or infected persons cross into the country and vice-versa. This is in line with one of the measures announced by the president in that South Africa's borders and ports are to be secured with immediate effect."
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