By Billian T Matambo
Is the Covid -19 virus selective on who to infect or maybe other churches are resistant when it comes to Covid -19 virus. History is repeating itself last year the Johane Marange church enjoyed their 2 week Passover gathering despite other churches being pinned down by covid 19 regulations.
This year it is the same scenario whereby for more than 3 weeks thousands and thousands of its members are going to enjoy their Passover gathering upto the 17th of July. The privilege that they enjoy at the expense of the health of Marange residents.
According to Ministry of Health and Child Welfare as of 2 July 2021 Zimbabwe had 1841 total deaths with 52 663 cumulative cases and 39 568 total recoveries. According to the ministry’s statistics 788 004 people have managed to get the first dose of vaccination while 564 714 did get the first and second dose of the vaccination.
Looking at these figures closely of the people who are vaccinated they are far less than a million versus Zimbabwe population of 15, 078, 966 million people , this is just a drop in the sea. In simpler terms we are neither vaccinated as a nation nor resistant.
In as much as section 62 of our 2013 constitution provide us with the Right of Access to Information whereby every Zimbabwean citizen or permanent resident, including juristic persons and the Zimbabwean media, has the right of access to any information held by the State or by any institution or agency of government at every level, in so far as the information is required in the interests of public accountability , however the information on how and why the Johane Marange congregation is getting this exceptional special treatment at the expense of citizens’s health is not in the public domain . We wonder where we could get answers to our questions and we ask for justice when it comes to the rule of law.
The congregants have began flocking in their numbers to Mafararikwa area in Marange where they customarily hold their Passover celebration yearly every July.. What is really happening is confusing to us. Marange is under threat if one amongst them is positive their is a high probability that the deadly Covid virus will spread like veld fire .
Looking at it closely the congregants don’t live in isolation , they are members of our communities ,they are our neighbors , we use same boreholes and we share a lot in common . Our seriousness in fighting the spread of the pandemic is questionable. Our laws and regulations are now implemented selectively depending on who is hosting the gathering .
Churches like Johane Marange congregation is one above the laws of the land . It’s so sad that politics is playing a major role again in Covid issues. Marange communities are endangered because of the zeal to gain political mileage by political gimmicks especially now that we are approaching elections. Covid pandemic is not a respector of persons, its real and it kills .
What has this country come to ,the laws of the land are now a big joke by becoming the respector of persons and easily bent by those who make them . On contrary the nation is expected to fold hands and watch silently as disaster unfolds. Those with the powers to declare regulations ,declare them only for a group of citizens. We have turned our Zimbabwe into an exact replica of animal farm where all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.
Following the new Covid regulations announced by the Vice President on the 10th of June 2021 that all gatherings were banned save for funerals which are open for a maximum of 30 mourners . The regulations was effected from 14 June 2021. Effected yes but partial because now we are talking of thousands of congregants.
This raises a lot of questions , are the figures published by ministry of health on how many succumbed to COVID-19 and how many infected on daily basis real? Are the figures being cooked? , If the figures are real where is our reluctance coming from? , where exactly are we basing on when the state of our health sector is as pathetic as it is?
We are failing to afford paracetamol and adquate sanitizers how then can we think even in our wildest dreams that we will manage to cure the disease . If we are struggling as a nation on acquiring and providing adquate preventative personal protective equipment what guarantee do we have that we will be able to contain and cure Covid -19 positive cases if the worse comes to the worst?.
We find it of no use as Marange citizens to cry over spilled milk . We are doomed as we foresee disaster unfolding after the Passover celebration on the 17th of July. Positive cases are going to skyrocket that is if the figures published by ministry of health are true .
This calls for wisdom . Is it worth throwing away the one precious life that we have inorder to satisfy political greediness?, I totally disagree.
By Billian Tino Matambo
Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union (ZIDAWU).