Zimbabwe’s Defense Minister says the coronavirus pandemic is God’s way of exacting revenge for countries that have imposed economic sanctions on the country.
Minister Oppah Muchinguri singled out the United States going as far as saying President Trump should know that “he is not God.” Trump renewed sanctions on the country recently.
She was speaking on Saturday at an event in Chinoyi, capital of the West Mashonaland Province. Her address was in a local language, a translation of which was as follows.
They are now stuck in their homes. There is nothing else for them to do. Their economies are now screaming. Isn't it they are making ours scream too? Trump must know that he is not God. They are suffocating us, where do they want us to go? Now it is your turn to be suffocated by coronavirus. So that you will feel how p
“This coronavirus that has come, these are sanctions, isn’t it? These are sanctions that have been imposed on countries that imposed sanctions on us. God has punished them.
“They are now stuck in their homes. There is nothing else for them to do. Their economies are now screaming. Isn’t it they are making ours scream too? Trump must know that he is not God.
“They are suffocating us, where do they want us to go? Now it is your turn to be suffocated by coronavirus. So that you will feel how painful it is.”
Zimbabweans on social media have been reacting to the pronouncements. A section calling for her to be fired, others making jest of the comment whiles for others the fact that China, an ally of the country, was the epicenter of the outbreak, has caused them to brand the Minister as ignorant.
“On behalf of the people of Zimbabwe, I would like to apologise to those countries that have been affected by the coronavirus; the provocative and ignorant comments by the Defence Minister do not reflect the thinking of the generality of Zimbabweans who wish you a speedy recovery,” a former deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa tweeted on Sunday.
The Zimbabwe government continues to insist that economic sanctions was all but worsening the struggling economy of the southern African nation. In 2019 alone, the ruling ZANU-PF called for sanctions to be lifted early in the year.
The government bemoaned the sanctions and declared a day of prayer and protest against sanctions. Harare also got regional bloc, SADC, to weigh in on the issue as did the African Union Commission chief shortly after SADC.
China, one of their biggest allies also called for lifting of what Beijing described as “unjustifiable” sanctions. Incidentally, Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province was the epicenter of the pandemic which has began to spread across the continent.
The closest it is to Zimbabwe is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, where two cases have been recorded. the situation is worse in South Africa where cases have spiked.