Situation in Zimbabwe During the Corona Virus Pandemic Outbreak


Report by D., Correspondent of the RCIT in Zimbabwe, 31 March 2020,




Note of the Editorial Board: Below we publish a report from a correspondent in Zimbabwe. It reflects the difficult situation in countries like Zimbabwe which are oppressed and super-exploited by the imperialist monopolies and Great Powers and which, in addition, suffer from the regime of the reactionary domestic bourgeoisie. Currently these conditions are getting particularly difficult given the brutal lock down combined with the pandemic. It is urgent that authentic revolutionaries in Zimbabwe unite and build a revolutionary organization as part of a new International. This is the goal to which the RCIT and its members around the world are committed!


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Zimbabwe is rated among the poorest countries in the world, and recently had a new Government which is claiming to restore and put the country in a middle-class status whatever that means. The state did not take the corona virus issue serious at the beginning and some Ministers even termed it a punishment to the west by God for imposing sanctions on the Zimbabwean nation which was widely criticised within and outside the country. This level of ignorance displayed by the leadership portrays how comprador African states under capitalism have no clue and can not handle any tragic situation that threatens people’s lives.


Zimbabwe has recorded low numbers in terms of infections and deaths and so far the official number stands at 8 infections and 1 death as of April 01, 2020. Some attribute this to lack of testing capacity and access to information bottlenecks and suppression of information by the state. The general public is not taking the matter seriously and the working-class leadership is divided about this subject and the problem we are facing. Some condemn the lockdowns being imposed saying its an attack on the poor and some say that lockdown is good as it is a measure to reduce infections among the poor who are the most vulnerable and have no resources to deal with the pandemic.


Some trade union leaders are saying we should seize this opportunity and pressure the state to implement the much-needed reforms such as the repressive legislation, and other political reforms. Some say let’s seize this opportunity to fight for our rights and space, and others are saying lockdown is a good measure to minimise the loss of life of the poor. The tragedy is that reality has a different view and trajectory, the poor people have no continuous supply of clean water, which is the basic human right. With the lockdown the poor are hard hit because they can not afford to buy stocks of food for future use, electricity supply is erratic, thus perishable goods are hard to stock. The comprador petty bourgeoisie are clueless and are clearly displaying incapacity to handle any kind of crisis, they have been humbled by the COVID-19 pandemic.


If only the left in Zimbabwe were united, they would seize the moment and capitalise on the fissures and weaknesses shown by the ruling class and the system, and organise the poor and the working class to march against the ruling class and fight for socialism, because right now capitalism is at its weakest point and very vulnerable and in the brink of collapse, and the working class must be ready when this happens. The situation so far is dire, and people are in despair and the left is also clueless.


The prices of food stuffs have skyrocketed from what was a bad position to the worst and they keep changing by moment and getting further and further out of reach for the poor. People are locked down without adequate supplies of food, the measures seem to be further hurting the poor, and now the issue is dying of hunger while trying to prevent COVID -19 deaths and infections, it is bad.