EDITORIAL | Beware the imminent disaster on our doorstep
Yet another Zimbabwean crisis is compounded by Covid-19, but struggling SA is in no position to help
Zimbabwe’s health minister Obadiah Moyo was sacked last week for allegedly illegally awarding a US$20m contract for personal protective gear and Covid-19 test kits to Drax Consult SAGL, a Dubai-based company created a few months ago. President Emmerson Mnangagwa removed him from office for “conduct inappropriate for a government minister”. That’s an understatement if you’ve ever heard one.
His sacking came as nurses and doctors in Zimbabwe embarked on strike action, demanding to be paid in US dollars because the local economy is spiralling into nothingness. AFP quoted a medical worker as saying an average nurse’s salary has been diminished from US$800 (almost R14,000) in 2008 to the equivalent of US$35 (about R600).
Our neighbouring country is (again) facing an economic crisis – its worst in more than a decade. How will it ever deal with a pandemic on the scale of Covid-19? Already we have witnessed how the virus has laid bare the scandalous divide between SA’s two economies. If we think this pandemic has finally exposed SA’s dark underbelly, imagine what it would do to Zimbabwe if infections started to surge. ..