President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday took a subtle dig on her Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri over her “tasteless” coronavirus remarks.
In a statement, Mnangagwa said the pandemic has a scientific explanation and cannot be blamed on anyone, therefore he empathised with the people who have been affected by COVID-19 across the globe. Said Mnangagwa:
Pandemics of this kind have a scientific explanation and knows no boundary, and like any other natural phenomenon cannot be blamed on anyone.
We have all witnessed the tragic scenes in China, Iran, Italy and other countries around the world. We stand with our friends in the international community. My Government empathises with the affected people around the globe and stands ready to assist in whatever ways within our capacity.
My Government empathises with the affected people around the globe and stands ready to assist in whatever ways within our capacity. As a nation, we must stand strong. Strong and united. Strong and vigilant. We must act early and we must act sensibly.
Mnangagwa’s remarks are in stark contrast to what Muchinguri-Kashiri said while speaking at a Zimbabwe National Liberation War Collaborators Association meeting in Chinhoyi on Saturday. She said in Shona:
This coronavirus that has come are sanctions against the countries that have imposed sanctions on us. God is now punishing them now and they are staying indoors now, while their economy is screaming like what they did to ours by imposing sanctions on us.
Trump should know that he is not God. They must face the consequences of coronavirus so that they also feel the pain.
Muchinguri-Kashiri’s comments made headlines across the world and she was also criticised by local commentators for her lack of empathy towards the thousands of families who have lost their loved ones to the disease.