Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa today urged the nation not to lose hope in the country’s fight against Covid-19, but continue to observe health protocols recommended to fight the pandemic.
Addressing mourners at the double burial of national hero Moton Malianga ( 91) and heroine, Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Ellen Gwaradzimba, the President said behaviour change was needed as the country battles a different variant of COVID-19.
Both succumbed to COVID-19 last week.
The country also lost Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo to Covid-19 yesterday; becoming the second cabinet minister to succumb to the virus after Agriculture Minister Perrance Shiri last year.
Mnangagwa urged citizens to continue to wear masks in public, sanitize hands and observe social distancing.
“The present Covid-19 variant is stronger and spreads much faster, hence we must be more vigilant, disciplined and shift our attitude and behavior.
“Alive to the ongoing reality, let us however not lose heart. Let us fight on and resolve to overcome. In our organizations, communication platforms we must keep hope alive,” he said.
He added: “I therefore urge all our people to continue to sanitize, wear face masks properly and maintain social distance. This is not the time to be tired and let our guard down in hopelessness.“
Mnangagwa called for strict observance of COVID-19 lockdown and curfew regulations.
“Those who are not on essential duties should stay at home. Learning from our departed heroes who brought our nation thus far, let us serve, fight and save lives to flatten the curve.
“United with one common purpose, we will overcome and defeat COVID-19,” he said.
Zimbabwe is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths which prompted authorities to declare a 30-day hard lockdown in a bid to slow down the spread of the pandemic.
Government has also announced that only 10 percent of its workforce would be physically reporting for work as it intensifies efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.
As at 20 January 2021, the country had recorded 29 408 Covid-19 cases including 879 deaths.
Turning to the two national heroes, Mnangagwa said they should be emulated for serving their country selflessly.
“These men and women sacrificed their lives, careers and families to break the yoke of colonial bondage that was wearing down the indigenous people of our great country. It was the spirit of patriotism, bravery and selflessness that propelled them to confront the enemy even from a seemingly weaker position.
“The conviction to make their individual and collective contribution was inspired by the ideological consciousness for the need to attain sovereign independence and freedom to determine our own destiny,” he said. –New Ziana