Zimbabwe has been plunged into deep mourning as hardly a day goes by without a top government official passing away from Covid 19 complications, forcing many to ask WHY this is happening.
The questions have been fuelled by inadvertent disclosures by Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri where she lamented the death of former Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Ellen Gwaradzimba even after “we had administered the vaccine to her”.
Gwaradzimba was declared a national heroine and buried at the National Heroes Acre, together with Zanu PF Central Committee member Morton Dizzy Paul Malianga (91) who however died from other medical complications.
Hardly a day later, the former Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Commissioner General Paradzai Zimondi died, followed closely by transport minister Joel Biggie Matiza, both from Covid 19 complications.
“Why is Covid 19 only targeting top government officials and not opposition members,” asked one irate citizen on social media.
To compound matters, there are reports the top political hierarchy are in one way or another feeling down.
“If what Oppah said is true then it is clear Zanu PF has no conscience for the common man,” said one Harare resident.
“It’s like asking me to feel pity for a family who shut themselves inside their house eating a rotten chicken while others are starving outside. Then when they fall ill they shout for help from those they had locked outside their gate; I have no pity for such.”
Several ruling Zanu PF officials are also said to be down with the disease, amid concern Zimbabwe’s hospitals are getting increasingly overwhelmed by coronavirus cases despite insistence to the contrary by the government.
“With compatriots dropping like flies, it’s shocking that the regime has no plan or program for Covid vaccines,” tweeted MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti following Friday’s high-profile multiple fatalities.
“Insanely the 2021 budget failed to provide any funds for vaccine purchases. So Zimbabwe suffers from misgovernance. Other countries face pandemics. Zimbabwe faces a plan-demic.”
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba also expressed shock at the avalanche of sad news, tweeting: “It never rains; it pours. Ndarwadziwa! (I’m pained).
Zimbabwe is currently in the throes of the pandemic with 45 deaths and 476 new infections reported Friday, bringing the country’s caseload to 30,523. Fatalities jumped to 962.
But Zanu PF DCC chairman for Makonde Kindness Paradza dismissed talk of government officials taking a Covid 19 vaccine behind closed doors.
“That is nonsense talk,” Paradza said. “There is nothing like that.”
But one person responded to him:”Hausati wangopiwawo vaccine that’s why you are saying that.”