Zimbabwe has for some time been a very polarised country because of a toxic political climate and lack of leadership.
The polarisation has not only retarded economic progress because no foreign investors would want to put their money in a country where there is no unity of purpose, but it has also resulted in loss of lives due to political violence.
Not even the seismic fall of Robert Mugabe following a military coup in 2017 could bring Zimbabweans together.
Such a climate is not conducive for the development of a country and we believe Zimbabweans now have a golden opportunity to stop the vicious cycle even if that opportunity is being presented through a global tragedy.
Since it was first identified in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, China, a new coronavirus strain is now spreading across the globe like a wildfire.
On Friday Zimbabwe recorded its first case of coronavirus after a Victoria Falls man who had travelled to the United Kingdom tested positive and the second one was recorded yesterday.
Other regional countries such as Zambia, Nambia and South Africa have recorded cases of the disease, also known as Covid-19. The rapidly spreading disease is now on our doorsteps, literally.
And this is the reason why Zimbabweans need to put their differences aside and ward off an outbreak whose impact on the economy and the country’s health systems is too ghastly to contemplate.
The health emergency does not need dramatisation through juvenile politicisation such as was the case with Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri’s bizzare claims that the coronavirus outbreak was God’s way of punishing the United States for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa did the right thing by disassociating the government from the tasteless remarks by a key member of his administration.
The approach to the coronavirus outbreak in Zimbabwe must be informed by science and the desire to save lives.
Above all, Zimbabweans must be united by the singular goal to minimise the loss of lives.
Citizens must heed advice to behave responsibly and try as much as possible to access information on how the coronavirus spreads and how they can keep their communities healthy.
Prevention is the most viable option to minimise the impact of this global scourge in light of Zimbabwe’s weakened health delivery system and this means that minimising the impact of the coronavirus cases is everyone’s responsibility.
If there is any good to come out of this catastrophe, it is that we must all work together to overcome the coronavirus scourge