Racial Covid-19 slander unacceptable: SB Moyo
Zimbabweans must stop propagating racial and slanderous publicity relating to the origins of Covid-19, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo said last night.
“The ministry has received reports, and in some cases photographic evidence, of Zimbabwe-based companies propagating offensive, racially-discriminatory publicity relating to the supposed origins of the Covid-19 virus,” he said.
“Discrimination in any way, shape or form is abhorrent to the Government of Zimbabwe. Whatever its origins, Covid-19 is a global threat, affecting each and every inhabitant of planet earth, with zero regard for ethnicity, social status, wealth or any other of the various strata, which have been contrived, over centuries, to set us apart from each other.”
Dr Moyo said misguided assumptions with regard to the origin and the consequent attribution of blame “take us nowhere, render a difficult situation even more challenging and impact negatively on relations between and amongst brotherly nations and peoples”.
He said during colonial rule, Zimbabweans were subjected to worst forms of discrimination and it was, therefore, unthinkable that any Zimbabwean national or resident should seek to dishonour the ethos and sacrifice which led to the sovereign independence by indulging in any form of racially-charged slander or insult, against anybody, for whatever reason.
“It is simply unacceptable,” said Dr Moyo. “True, to this principle, Zimbabwe recently co-sponsored a UN General Assembly resolution on Covid-19, cautioning the world against “any form of discrimination, racism and xenophobia in response to the pandemic.”
The resolution was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly and stressed the need for intensified international solidarity.
Said Dr Moyo: “Our focus as Government, as a people and as a community, must be on directing all energy and maximum effort towards limiting the spread of this deadly virus and minimising its impact upon our populace and indeed all those who reside in Zimbabwe.
“Our efforts do not take place in a vacuum. They are part of a regional continental, and indeed fully global effort, by all nations and all people in alignment with the detailed guidelines set out by the World Health Organisation to compact this disease.
“Zimbabwe is playing its part within that global effort.
“We rely on the support and cooperation of others, from within our region and way beyond.
“We are grateful for the assistance being provided at both domestic and international levels, as we prepare and consolidate our defences.”