The telecoms mogul faced a backlash from some quarters when he offered to pay salaries for doctors at Zimbabwe’s public hospitals, with some critics accusing him of babysitting an intransigent corrupt government that had abdicated its duties.
The UK-based billionaire wrote on his Facebook page:
#Chinese Businesses are on the frontline of fighting the Corona Virus:
Last week I got an email from the office of my friend Jack Ma of Alibaba asking to share information on my experience in fighting the Ebola virus. I was amazed by all the things Jack Ma and others in China are doing!
Almost every single Chinese business [big and small] is doing something to fight the virus.
Interesting DiDi [China’s version of Vaya] is providing FREE transport for Nurses and doctors …sound familiar?!
Vaya is currently offering FREE transport to Zimbabwe’s nurses and doctors. WE HAVE DONE THIS FOR MORE THAN 6 MONTHS!
I just read an article in a Chinese paper about initiatives by small businesses right across China. They are doing everything possible to get involved. IN A CRISIS IT IS A DISGRACE NOT TO GET INVOLVED.
Now here is the lesson for us in Africa:
#1. China is the second most powerful country in the world and has resources and capability to boot. It’s military built a 1000 bed hospital from scratch to finish in 10 days!
And YET, their businesses still want to get involved. In Africa, during crises, many of us just like to watch and criticize, and become armchair TWITTER foremen! We will never overcome any crisis whether health or economic by just watching from the sidelines.
It is also important for our policymakers not to be arrogant in a crisis, and engage others to join and offer solutions:
If your house is burning, and a neighbour comes with a bucket of water, you do not question their motive, simply because you quarrelled with them in the past. That is silly!
This Corona Virus is SERIOUS, VERY SERIOUS!
We need everyone to get involved in preparations.