President Mnangagwa yesterday received $5 million from Delta Corporation and an ambulance worth US$90 000 from Croco Motors at State House to fight Covid-19, with the former committing to hand over other goods worth $1 million today.
Delta Corporation chairman Mr Canaan Dube presented the $5 million cheque to the President, who expressed the need to protect health workers at the forefront of dealing with the disease.
Receiving the donations, President Mnangagwa applauded the private sector for extending a hand at a critical time when Government was fighting to contain the spread of Covid-19.
“I am, therefore, extremely pleased that our private sector, business community have come forward, today here Delta is donating $5 million to our mobilisation committee so that we are capacitated to procure what we call Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) first, for the front liners, our doctors and nurses who have the duty to look after our citizens who will be affected by this pandemic,” said President Mnangagwa.
“They need to be protected. We know what has happened elsewhere. We don’t want to make the same mistake. We will have to do everything possible to protect our frontline soldiers.”
The President acknowledged that the donation was a commitment to assist the Government to fight the spread of Covid-19.
He lauded the two companies for their quick response after meeting the business sector four days ago where he made an appeal to them.
“It’s not Zimbabwe alone, but the entire region, the entire continent and indeed the entire world has been visited, but the attack is at different levels,” he said.
“However, we are fully aware about the impact of this pandemic, the devastation it has caused to other nations. We believe that it’s just the beginning of attacking us here in Zimbabwe and it is necessary we take measures which we think will mitigate against the impact of this pandemic.
“In doing so, we as Government have felt that every single Zimbabwean has a duty to contribute towards the limitation of the spread of this pandemic.”
President Mnangagwa said Government introduced the 21-day national lockdown, a decision not taken lightly because it had serious implications on the lives of the people.
“Many of our people in the informal sector who fed their families from informal activities are now affected,” he said. “For this period, they are not able to continue to feed their families, but the decision has to be taken so that we limit the spread of the pandemic.
“Government will do its best to attend to those affected by this decision by making sure that our social arm, the social security networks, have expanded to take care of those affected.”
The President said Government would monitor activities at the border posts to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“We have locked down our borders or our neighbours have locked down their borders with us, and us with them, which means that our trade and economic activities stand now affected, our exports, our imports are affected,” he said.
“But still we think that action needs to be taken to preserve lives, which is more important than to allow the spread of the diseases just because we would want to continue to trade.”
President Mnangagwa commended local companies for diverting their line of production for PPEs to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“It is true that this material which we want cannot be found because the entire world is looking for the same equipment,” he said. “Initially, we began looking for equipment such as masks, gloves, sanitisers.
“In Europe and Asia we were knocking shoulders with big powers looking for the same things like ventilators, but I am happy our companies have changed the lines of production in order to produce these materials.
“Science universities in this country are now busy producing most of these materials — the gowns, the caps, masks, sanitisers they are producing in the country.
“We are just coming from a meeting now, which shows that down the line, we are likely to have more of these materials domestically produced by our people.”
President Mnangagwa added: “Just beyond the ZW$5 million, you (Delta) are also going to donate materials worth ZW$1 million tomorrow (today). We are very grateful. I am appealing to other companies to also do the same.”
The President commended Croco Motors for donating the ambulance, which will be used to ferry seriously ill patients affected by Covid-19.
“There is no contribution which we regard as small,” he said. “I met the church leaders five days ago, and most them are offering their churches for us to use as isolation centres.”
President Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans should be abiding by the law and take the lockdown seriously.
“I realised that not everyone is happy with the lockdown decision we made,” he said. “But it is meant to protect our lives, we might extend the number of days depending with the situation.”
The President had a tight schedule yesterday, as he met the business community and church leaders soon after attending a Cabinet meeting.
He also met with religious leaders from the Jewish communities, Greeks, Hellenics and Hindus to whom he appealed for more donations.
The religious leaders have since pledged to assist the Government in its fight against Covid-19.