Zimbabwe’s former Health Minister (Government of National Unity era), Henry Madzorera has called for the demilitarisation of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Madzorera who is a member of opposition MDC Alliance speaks when the government imposed strict lockdown regulations which security personnel have been implementing using sheer force. He said:
We cannot manage this epidemic through brutality, education is the most important tool which we can give to our people to manage this epidemic.
We must give information to the people so that they take it and make it their own agenda, not a police roadblock agenda and definitely not a military agenda.
People wear masks because they see police and soldiers harassing and beating them up. People generally respond to issues mainly motivated by selfish interests. If they understand why they must comply and how they benefit, compliance will be voluntary.
Some believe that the strict lockdown restrictions, including the dusk-to-dawn curfew, were imposed as a strategy to curb anticipated protests over alleged grand corruption by some government officials, the economic and humanitarian crisis and the deteriorating democratic space.
There are thousands of people that have been arrested so far for violating lockdown restrictions.