Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa has applauded Zimbabweans for self-discipline during the ongoing 21-day lockdown, while advising farmers supplying produce to urban centres and other localities to continue to operate and agricultural markets to remain open as the country enters Day 6 of the lockdown today.
Further, the President said veterinary outlets and related services should continue operating as the country fends off livestock diseases.
Addressing the nation at State House yesterday, President Mnangagwa said the presence of military personnel on the streets and other places was just symbolic, as people heeded the Government call.
He said the nation’s safety and collective security lay in self-discipline, but people should not be deceived by the low infection numbers and Government should continue to scale up preparations.
“Apart from the focus on the pandemic itself, it is integral that we keep our economy moving forward during this period of lockdown.
“Food supply must be guaranteed, with minimum shocks or disruption. Farmers must continue to produce for our nation even under conditions of lockdown. Farmers and traders alike must equally continue to deliver produce to markets, including those markets that supply our cities, towns and growth points.
“To that end, I directed our security arms to ensure pathway of food supply. All agriculture activity must remain undisturbed throughout the period of the lockdown. All our producers must continue to feed our nation with minimum hustles. Equally, our veterinary outlets and services must continue to run as we fend off the diseases against our livestock. Our outlets and field teams working on projects meant to climate-proof our agriculture and towards impending harvests as well as winter wheat programmes must be facilitated.”
He said the country was not yet out of the woods but applauded Zimbabweans for high level self-discipline during the lockdown.
“Only last week, I directed a total lockdown of our society for a duration of 21 days. As your President, I am proud of the way most of you have responded to the lockdown,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Except where absolutely necessary, you have stayed home together with your families. You have observed and voluntarily enforced social distance and religiously followed routines of basic hygiene as recommended by the World Health Organisation. Social interactions have either stopped or drastically reduced. We are on the right path. The deployment of security arms has largely been symbolic, with you our citizens heeding the call, taking the lead and showing the way in the fight against this pandemic. Well done Zimbabweans and keep it up,” said the President.
With a huge number of people moving back to the rural areas and others self-repatriating home from different parts of the world, President Mnangagwa said Government had decentralised Covid-19 operations to cover the entire country.
He said the country’s bio-surveillance and contact tracking systems against both imported cases and likely in-country infections were being improved.
Government, he added, would ensure that health personnel were fully kitted for them to feel safe and secure.
The President said just like any other country in the world, Zimbabwe was facing a shortage of ventilators adding that Government was attending to that.
President Mnangagwa said Government was in full support of researchers in institutions of higher learning and establishment of a medical complex.
He said the wheels of the industry should continue turning during the lockdown albeit at a slow pace.
“Government has therefore largely left it to our business sector to determine how best to respond to the Covid-19 menace, but within the health and safety parameters set by our health experts,” he said.
“Adequate measures must be put in place to protect our workforce.”