By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
The late former President Robert Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, has urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to cancel all public gathering especially the independence celebrations scheduled for Barbourfields Stadium to avoid the possible spread of the deadly coronavirus.
In a statement, Zhuwao said public gatherings were factories for the spread of coronavirus.
Zhuwao slammed Defence Minister, Oppah Muchinguri for claiming the coronavirus was a punishment on countries that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Zhuwao also added that it was wrong for Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, George Charamba to think that the coronavirus is a “disease for the affluent.”
“I call on Emmerson Mnangagwa to cancel the state’s public gatherings as part of social distancing measures to mitigate the potential effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“ZANU PF National Chairperson and Defence minister, Oppah Muchinguri, is wrong to claim that the Coronavirus is God’s punishment on countries that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe.
“Mnangagwa must accept and recognise that Coronavirus principally affect the respiratory system. Coronavirus is largely through how people breath.
“People get infected by breathing the virus into their lungs. The infected person then expels some of the virus from his or her lungs. The virus is then able to infect other people,” he said.
The former Labour Minister said Mnangagwa was risking being accused of engineering another genocide, if the virus spreads at his organised public gatherings.
“Public gatherings are factories for manufacturing and multiplying of Coronavirus. If you go to a public gathering such as football match, you go there as a spectator and you risk coming out as a multiplier and spreader.
“That is why CAF has suspended the AFCON qualifiers. Consequently, in the interest of public health, I call on Mnangagwa to cancel the independence celebrations scheduled for Barbourfields Stadium; Barbourfields Stadium is set to become a giant coronavirus factory.
“Independence celebrations at Barbourfields Stadium are likely to be attended by younger and healthier people. They would be exposed for several hours to possible infection with coronavirus.
“Although such younger and healthier people would not be severely affected by coronavirus as the very young, elderly and more vulnerable, they would however continue to be spreaders of coronavirus for much longer periods. Given Mnangagwa’s previous Gukurahundi involvement in that region, Mnangagwa risks being accused of engineering another genocide.
“I call on Mnangagwa to cancel the celebration and use the money as an independence gift to the Zimbabweans to better prepare how to defeat coronavirus. Zimbabwe which has extremely limited coronavirus testing and treatment available.
“I hope and pray that Mnangagwa will find the strength to be a bigger person and go beyond his displeasure that I told his emissaries on December 2019 that I’m not willing to work for him to stem the political tide that is currently against him,” Zhuwao added.
There are no officially confirmed cases of coronavirus in Zimbabwe yet. Nehanda Radio