HARARE – The EFF Zimbabwe this week blasted Zimbabwe’s Minister of Defence and Security, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, and told her to resign over a controversial statement she recently made about the Covid19.
In what has been widely condemned as a stupid statement, Muchinguri-Kashiri was recently quoted bragging that Covid-19, a pandemic which has menaced the world during the past few weeks, had come to punish Western countries for hitting Zimbabwe with “sanctions”. This was despite the fact that the disease began in China, a country which has stood by Zimbabwe unflinchingly since the days of the liberation struggle that brought independence from Britain in 1980.
The opposition EFF Zimbabwe said the statement by Muchinguri, also a high-ranking member of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling Zanu (PF) party, revealed her “arrogance, cluelessness and incompetence”.
“She failed to consider the impact of her utterances in the event the virus hits us tomorrow,” read the statement.
“She has disgraced this country with her incompetent behaviour and EFF Zimbabwe calls upon Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri to immediately step down and pave way for leaders who will put urgent emergency measures in place to protect our people from the global pandemic, the only way to redeem ourselves from the international embarrassment invited to us by the so called Minister.
“COVID-19 is an international concern and for such a highly-placed member of the Zimbabwean government to utter such reckless statements is shameful to say the least. It is also very alarming given that cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in our neighbouring country where most Zimbabweans reside as economic refugees. Instead of commiserating with those affected by the virus and stepping up health measures against this virus, a whole Minister makes a bad joke of it. This habit of taking serious matters lightly has been the hallmark of the not so new dispensation and as EFF Zimbabwe we find it alarming and disturbing.”
The minor opposition party said it was not new for a Zanu (PF) member to utter such controversial statement, adding that exposed how mediocre the Zimbabwean leadership was.
“Only recently Joseph Chinotimba was on social media claiming Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed by fire but by CoronaVirus, yet another disgusting example of how lightly the government is taking this international pandemic,” said the party.
“These are the jokers we have in the driving seat of a country with more porous borders than any other known African country along with a collapsed health system that cannot even provide basic health services for simple ailments yet the leaders are joking about a deadly pandemic that has claimed human life across the globe.
“As EFF Zimbabwe we call on the government to release its Minister immediately and issue a public apology on such shameful, cold recklessness by one of its own. In addition, we demand under no uncertain terms that the government swiftly take steps on information dissemination and protect our people from COVID-19. At this point people do not feel safe in our country because of lack of factual information and lack of faith in the capacity of our health system to deal with the virus effectively. Only recently a suspected bearer of the virus escaped Wilkins Hospital, the only one in the country with some capacity to test the virus and this has resulted in widespread agitation amongst our countrymen.”
EFF Zimbabwe said it was clear Zimbabwe did do not have the facilities and equipment needed to deal with COVID-19, adding government officials needed to stop making reckless statements to concentrate on mobilising resources towards the efficient functioning of the country’s health system.