Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mnangagwa extends Covid-19 lockdown indefinitely

Zimbabwe will continue the Level 2 lockdown for an indefinite period, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has announced in a video address at State House today.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa wearing a protective mask
President Emmerson Mnangagwa wearing a protective mask

Mnangagwa said Government was satisfied with the impact of the lockdown so far.

“Zimbabwe will, therefore, continue on the Level 2 lockdown for an indefinite period. We shall have regular two-week interval reviews to assess progress or lack of it.

“This should give us more time to strengthen the prevention and case management approaches for the various risk populations,” he said.

Schools will remain closed but a phased reopening will be carried out, starting with exam classes.  Operating times of all businesses have been adjusted to between 8am and 4:30pm.

Opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa however expressed worries about extending the lockdown indefinitely because it “opens a treacherous avenue to arbitrary rule.”

“Whereas measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic are a necessity, we disagree with entrenching arbitrary rule under the guise of fighting the pandemic. We backed previous measures because they were time-specific. Indefinite extension changes the situation in a fundamental way.

“Without consultation with us all, the indefinite extension of the lockdown opens a treacherous avenue to arbitrary rule. It indefinitely suspends the exercise of civil and political rights which are necessary checks and balances on the excesses of governmental power.

“Most authoritarian regimes are now using COVID-19 situation as an stratagem to violate rights, abuse people, esp workers, informal traders & churches. Abuse & manipulation must be fought by all progressive citizens. The greater the oppression, the greater the determination!”