Zimbabwe: Coronavirus - 2030 Vision Off the Rail, Says Mnangagwa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa delivers his State Of the Nation Address on March 17, 2020.
18 March 2020

President Emmerson Mnangagwa Tuesday announced that the government's ambitious vision 2030 could be derailed in light of the coronavirus which slowed down bilateral and multilateral trade as the world battles to contain the deady virus.

With more countries imposing travel and trade bans in order to contain the virus, the economic toll has already been felt especially on stronger economies, while countries like Zimbabwe are starting to feel the effects of the global pandemic which has killed more than 7000 people across the world.

Mnangagwa's government has been failing to get the rhythm going since assuming power in the 2018 elections and his administration has witnessed a great economic collapse which has left the country facing highest inflation levels in the world while companies continue to close leaving hundreds of thousands unemployed while millions face starvation due to climate weather-induced droughts in the past two summer seasons

In his address to the nation on the coronavirus, Mnangagwa gave an excuse that his government will suffer the consequences of the virus and his 2030 vision could take a knock as a result

"While we have no recorded cases as yet, the economic impact of the pandemic is already being felt, threatening our Vision 2030,' he said.

Mnangagwa also noted that key infrastructure projects could be affected as a result.

"We have seen key bilateral projects in many sectors, most notably, in transport and fuel infrastructures, either being slowed down or completely coming to a halt," he decried.

The virus has also had a huge toll on international tourism as countries continue to close border while international airlines have been grounded as the race to contain the virus has intensified in the last few weeks.

Zimbabwe largely depends on travel and tourism for the much needed foreign currency but the coming in of the coronavirus could have a negative effect on the thriving sector.

"Travel and tourism have taken a knock from a cartel of human movements, in our case, on the back of two successive droughts," Mnangagwa said.

He urged the politically dived nation to pull in one direction in order to successfully fight the virus, despite zero cases having been reported.

"We must join hands working with the rest of the world on fighting this virus even though it has not yet crossed our borders. We must have a national response plan. Humanity is at risk and stands at hazardous crossroads," said President Mnangagwa.

He had come under pressure from citizens over his continued silence on the coronavirus while others were calling for him to impose travel bans.

Mnangagwa said his government had declared COVID-19 a national disaster, even though the country was yet to record a confirmed case, in a bid to raise funds for the fight against the pandemic.

However, he said all major borders remain open and encouraged Zimbabweans to desist from unnecessary travel while saying foreigners will be quarantines upon arrival from high-risk areas.

27 African countries have confirmed having cases of the virus.

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