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Zimbabwe Planning to Tighten COVID-19 Lockdown As Mass Public Protest Over Economic Decay Looms

FILE - People line up for a food handout amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, May 5, 2020.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the government is planning to review Coronavirus lockdown measures following rising numbers of Zimbabweans testing positive for COVID-19.

In a tweet, Information Secretary, Nick Mangwana, said Mngangagwa announced the proposed move at an Ordinary Session of the ruling Zanu PF party’s Politburo meeting on Friday.

Mnangagwa is quoted as saying, “I urge the party (Zanu PF) to continue to be in the forefront of raising the awareness levels in our communities of the dangers of this pandemic. The recent rapid spike of infections requires that we make another review of the lockdown of the Covid19 lockdown measures.

“We have now reached the crossroads. A choice has to be made & the right choice will be made. Our inexplicable community infections are now a great concern. Local infections are close to matching imported cases. There appears to be a Lockdown fatigue. But we have lives to protect.”

There are currently 942 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe with 320 recoveries and 13 deaths.

Critics fired back, claiming that the president’s announcement appears to be aimed at planned public protests by opponents of the government on July 31st, who are demanding sweeping reforms, including the end of Zanu PF rule.

Some opposition parties, non-governmental organizations and individuals say they will shutdown the nation until Zanu PF rule comes to an end.

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