In a move set to bolster citizens’ compliance levels during the on-going 21-day mandatory lockdown, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has roped in the dreaded military.
The deployment of the military comes after close to 2000 people have been arrested for literally defying Mnangagwa’s order for Zimbabweans to stay at home in a bid to contain the catastrophic Covid-19 pandemic, also known as coronavirus.
Defence and War Veterans Deputy Minister Victor Matemadanda told the state-controlled Chronicle that the deployment of the military was ‘not a new phenomenon’, as other countries, like neighbouring South Africa, had also done the same. Matemadanda said the military has been roped in at the request of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
“At a personal level I don’t get involved in an operational matter. That is for the Joint Operations Command (JOC). But obviously when you see them working together like I have always said, they get involved at the request of the Zimbabwe Republic Police,” Matemadanda was quoted as saying.
“But anyway, it’s not a new phenomenon in Zimbabwe, every other country that has taken (lockdown) measures has deployed the police and the army – all security agents to make sure that this is contained. If the deployment is being done now, I think Zimbabwe was even the last because everywhere else, soldiers are deployed because it is an emergency situation”, he said.
Zimbabwe has nine confirmed Covid-19 cases and one recorded death in journalist Zororo Makamba.