HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has urged Zimbabweans to stop attending private parties and gatherings.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has defended her decision to flout the national Covid-19 lockdown restrictions after hosting her 60th birthday party ahead of the festive last year where scores of guests including ministers openly disregarded government coronavirus regulations.
The President said in the “next hours, days and even months” there will be surging Covid-19 infections and deaths, urging the nation to unite in its fight against the virulent pandemic.
Mngangagwa said this in a televised address after the death of multiple serving and former government officials from Covid-19.
Mnangagwa said the situation is very worrisome and threatens to become dire. However, he said there is hope as shown by the Covid-19 recovery rate. He thanks frontline health staff and says the lockdown could be tightened.
He added Zimbabwe will receive a vaccine ‘quite soon’ frontline workers to be inoculated first.
Mnangagwa exhorted Zimbabweans to unite in fighting the Covid-19 crisis. He said Zimbabwe has conquered bigger problems before.
“We’re united in grief…there are no spectators, no adjudicators, no holier than thou, no superman or superwoman… we’re all affected.”
Images of ministers and a host of other guests partying, hugging and merrymaking with her were shared by the information ministry’s secretary Nick Mangwana on Twitter.
Among those who attended the event were justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, home affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe, transport minister Joel Biggie Matiza and Mangwana.
“That was obviously a very personal dinner, a small gathering where a few friends were just there for dinner,” said Mutsvangwa when quizzed by journalists at a post-cabinet media briefing.
In one of the images, Mutsvangwa is seen hugging Mangwana, Kazembe and Ziyambi while tens of guests occupied the hall at an undisclosed location where she celebrated the birthday.