In puzzling remarks that continue to expose cabinet ministers’ knowledge of the novel coronavirus, a Zanu PF Politburo member has said the envisaged July 31 protests were being funded by people who were worried that ‘Covid19 has not killed people in Zimbabwe’.
The remarks were made by the party’s Political Commissar Victor Matemadanda while speaking to state media last night.
“There is a competition here between the purported human rights and the observance of the rule of law,” the state-owned Herald quoted Matemadanda as saying.
“This stage now, the so called human rights groups are encouraging the citizenry to break the law and I think also Zimbabweans should know that the supporters of those that are funding these demonstrations are worried by why Covid-19 has not killed people in Zimbabwe,” he said.
This is despite the fact that since the outbreak of the virus on March 20, nine Zimbabweans have been killed by Covid19 while over 700 have been infected with the pandemic.
Before the first Covid19 case was reported in Zimbabwe, Defence Minister Oppar Muchinguri hogged the media limelight for wrong reasons after she made infamous remarks that coronavirus was God’s way of punishing the West for imposing sanctions on the southern African country.
The Zimbabwean Government is now using the Covid19 lockdown as an excuse to block its dissenting citizens from demonstrating over worsening economic woes on July 31.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage minister Kazembe Kazembe has warned oppositional elements in the country to desist from holding the demonstrations, saying those who violate existing lockdown regulations will face the full wrath of the law.
“We are observing Covid-19 regulations and if anyone breaks the law they will be arrested because we are still under lockdown. Life is more important than everything else, life is more critical than anything that one can think of,” Minister Kazembe told state media.
“The lockdown is to ensure that we minimise the spread of the virus, we need a collective effort from everyone, including those in the opposition because Covid-19 does not discriminate. We are aware of where the funding for the demonstrations is coming from and we will make sure that they will be exposed,” he said.
Jacob Ngarivhume of Transform Zimbabwe has been on the forefront of calling for demos against the incumbent regime of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The July 31 calls for demonstrations have gained momentum with the generality of Zimbabweans, including the main opposition MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa giving nod to the sentiment.