COVID-19 in Zimbabwe
Exposing government flaws and testing people’s resilience
ISS Working Paper Series / General Series , Volume 669
The first official case of COVID-19 was reported in Zimbabwe on 20 March 2020. As a result, a total lockdown was declared by the government throughout the country. While the restrictions were initially supported by the masses, the length of the lockdown and the application of the lockdown rules became unbearable among the citizens. This is because most Zimbabweans are employed in the informal sector which means that majority do not have savings to keep food on their tables while not going out on the streets to sell their items. The coronavirus restrictions were also instrumentalized by the government to target the opposition supporters. As we examined the impact of the coronavirus on Zimbabwe, role played by the state to counter or exacerbate the effects of the pandemic, consequences of these top-down measures from the government, strategies adopted by the citizens to atone to the restrictions imposed by the government, a qualitative methodology was adopted for our study. A total of 5 key informants were interviewed via Zoom platform. Systematic review of secondary data sources on the subject under study in the country was also done. After analysing the data, our findings indicated that COVID-19 was not the main problem bothering ordinary Zimbabweans but the economy, political oppression, and other diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. On the same note, there were local initiatives that tried to find solutions to the threat of the coronavirus but were only limited to a few localities in the country.