COVID-19 in Zimbabwe: Exposing government flaws and testing people’s resilience

James Kunhiak Muorwel, Lara Vincent

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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The first official case of COVID-19 was reported in Zimbabwe on 20 March
2020. As a result, a total lockdown was declared by the government throughout
the country. While the restrictions were initially supported by the masses, the
length of the lockdown and the application of the lockdown rules became
unbearable among the citizens. This is because most Zimbabweans are
employed in the informal sector which means that majority do not have
savings to keep food on their tables while not going out on the streets to sell
their items. The coronavirus restrictions were also instrumentalized by the
government to target the opposition supporters.
As we examined the impact of the coronavirus on Zimbabwe, role played
by the state to counter or exacerbate the effects of the pandemic,
consequences of these top-down measures from the government, strategies
adopted by the citizens to atone to the restrictions imposed by the
government, a qualitative methodology was adopted for our study. A total of 5
key informants were interviewed via Zoom platform. Systematic review of
secondary data sources on the subject under study in the country was also
After analysing the data, our findings indicated that COVID-19 was not
the main problem bothering ordinary Zimbabweans but the economy, political
oppression, and other diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. On the same
note, there were local initiatives that tried to find solutions to the threat of the
coronavirus but were only limited to a few localities in the country.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

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SeriesISS working papers. General series


  • ISS Working Paper-General Series


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