Monitoring Government Responses to Covid-19 Long Term Observers’ – Report Number 5

ZESN’s June 2021 report on monitoring the government’s response to the pandemic is out. The report is a part of ZESN’s efforts to inform policy makers and interventions of non-State actors who seek to complement government efforts in flattening the COVID-19 curve. Read onfor more information on how the government has fared so far.

Introduction

Non-State actors have been complementing government efforts in flattening the COVID-19 curve. ZESN hopes that this report which covers developments that occurred in the month of June 2021, as reported by ZESN LTOs will complement the range of information available for use in development and reinforcing of strategies aimed at safeguarding the health of citizens who are trying to forge ahead with life in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the reporting period, amid the threat posed by the increase in COVID-19 cases, the whole country was put under lockdown on 12 June while particular places were put under localized lockdowns with stricter measures. The Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr. Constantine Chiwenga declared the national lockdown noting that complacency had resulted in a recent spike in COVID-19 cases. He said that the country had recorded 596 new cases and 26 deaths within the previous week, compared to the same period in May last year where there were 132 cases and six deaths.

On 23 June, more localized lockdowns were approved by Cabinet in the following areas: Karoi, Makonde, Chinhoyi, Mhangura, Chidamwoyo, Magunje, and Chirundu (Mashonaland West Province); Nkulumane, Emakhandeni, and Northern Suburbs (Bulawayo Metropolitan Province); Mount Darwin in Mashonaland Central Province; and Chiredzi in Masvingo Province. Vaccination against COVID-19 continued. In the same month, the country received 25,000 Sputnik V doses from Russia. In addition, 500 000 Sinopharm shots bought from China were received within the month of June.

Summary of findings

Enforcement of lockdown regulations

LTO reports indicated that, in general, there was no strict enforcement of COVID19 restrictions, particularly in the first two weeks of June, except in constituencies that were under localized lockdowns. There were reports of uniformed forces taking bribes from those who were breaching COVID-19 regulations in some constituencies. Examples include Buhera South; Mufakose; Bindura North; Harare East; and Mutoko South constituencies. In some constituencies, non-adherence to COVID-19 regulations was reported, including defying curfew orders and the secret operation of shebeens, beerhalls, bars, and bottle stores. Examples of such constituencies include Kadoma Central; Bikita South; Bulilima East; Vungu; Buhera South; and Mwenezi East. The police arrested informal traders and ZANU-PF youths who invaded Sakubva vegetables market and grabbed tables in defiance of the City Councils’ order to stop trading due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Impact of Covid-19 on the health sector

Local health facilities were generally reported to have continued offering services as before. However, unavailability of medication were reported in some constituencies, for example Binga North; Chakari; Glen Norah; Insiza South; Highfield East; Highfield West; Dangamvura;Chikanga; and Mhangura. Women were reported to be receiving antenatal and postnatal treatment at local health facilities as before. In Nketa Mganwini, an unidentified donor helped by paying bills for antenatal and postnatal services rendered to women.

Recommendations

  • Members of the public are encouraged to remain vigilant and observe stipulated health protocols.
  • The ZEC should provide mobile voter registration centres at venues at sub-district level which are more accessible to members of the public.
  • City councils around the country are urged to ensure that safe drinking water is provided to citizens on a consistent basis.

Read the full report here (453KB PDF)

Source: Zimbabwe Election Support Network

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