What pandemic: This country's officials get luxury cars but doctors lack PPE kit

Officials claim it is standard process but critics slam the decision considering the state of healthcare workers in the country during Covid-19 pandemic.
By : HT Auto Desk
| Updated on: 07 Jul 2020, 07:51 PM
Health workers carry placards as they protest against economic hardship and poor working conditions during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe. (REUTERS)
Health workers carry placards as they protest against economic hardship and poor working conditions during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe. (REUTERS)
Health workers carry placards as they protest against economic hardship and poor working conditions during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe. (REUTERS)
Health workers carry placards as they protest against economic hardship and poor working conditions during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe.

In a case which points squarely at government apathy towards people at large, senior officials of the Zimbabwean government have been gifted luxury cars at a time when massive protests have been held by healthcare workers who claim they are woefully short of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to help in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a report in UK's Guardian, ambassadors and senior civil servants in the country have been provided with several Range Rovers and Toyota pick up trucks - each worth in excess of $40,000. Senior officials in the country's Army have been given several other luxury cars while even junior ranks have managed to get vehicles.

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The report attributes the development to Sibusiso Moyo, the country's foreign minister, who is believed to have confirmed that envoys have been given Range Rover Discovery vehicles. Officials say it is standard practice but many are pointing at the contrast painted between giving out vehicles to officials and not providing crucial safety equipment to frontline health workers.

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Police arrest a health worker during a protest against economic hardship and poor working conditions during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Police arrest a health worker during a protest against economic hardship and poor working conditions during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe. (REUTERS)
Police arrest a health worker during a protest against economic hardship and poor working conditions during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Police arrest a health worker during a protest against economic hardship and poor working conditions during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe. (REUTERS)

Basic items in the country continue to be priced astronomically high as the stubborn problem of inflation has refused to fade away. In fact, Covid-19-related developments have further worsened the economic condition of a frail Zimbabwe. Inflation is reportedly at a staggering 785% year on year high.

Many protesting have highlighted that at a time when nurses are compelled to walk to medical facilities daily due to lack of transport services, providing vehicles - luxury or standard - to officials is nothing short of a criminal and immoral offense.

Zimbabwe currently has over 700 positive Covid-19 cases which may be far lower than some other countries in Africa - South Africa has 205,721 positive cases, but many say that either enough tests are not being done or actual figures are not being reported, or both.

First Published Date: 07 Jul 2020, 05:10 PM IST
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