Chamisa calls for social safety nets
MDC President Nelson Chamisa has called on the government to provide safety nets and provisions for the vulnerable as the country face twin evils of poverty and Covid-19. He also said the country should stand firm and unite against this global pandemic.
For the first time, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his rival, Chamisa, have agreed on something: a 21-day lockdown of Zimbabwe.
Mnangagwa said during his state of the nation (Sona) address on Friday night that, with effect from Monday, only essential services would be operational.
He said it was “time to put political differences aside” in the face of the coronavirus and the respiratory illness it causes, Covid-19.
Chamisa, who praised President Mnangagwa’s declaration of a total shutdown for 21 days beginning tomorrow, said there was a need for a raft of measures to assist those running small-scale businesses to survive the disruptions.
Chamisa told The Standard in an exclusive interview that Zimbabweans must rise above politics and mobilise international support needed to avert a disaster.
“We have to deal with exposed companies, small businesses and I know people will ask where the money comes from, but that is where there is need for mobilisation of international packages and that is why the ability to unite beyond politics is key because it will unlock new energy for the country and fresh impetus for the direction of the country,” Chamisa said.
“We need a raft of measures and mechanisms to cushion our vulnerable people, the unemployed and the elderly.
“It is important to have this lockdown and it must be used to reflect on a number of issues to build our capacity and continue isolating the disease and also cushion groups without jobs like vendors and the informal sector so that they survive.”
Mnangagwa had come under attack from Zimbabweans for delaying announcing the full lockdown. His latest decision got a buy-in from health practitioners.
More to follow…..