Far into the crisis that is the Covid-19 pandemic President Emmerson Mnangagwa still finds himself enmeshed in a tangled web of incorrect actions, inadequate moves, late interventions and semi-militaristic hijinks in purely medical scenarios.
His is a flurry of much that has been consistently amounting to little as every other negative number related to Covid-19 continues rising and the only other positive figure that should do that, the tested, remains at a doddering snail’s pace intent to keep to the government’s 1000 victims by April target.
Like an illegitimate baby, saddled from birth by the righteous anger of a community that despises its presence and existence, Mnangagwa has failed to surmount the ridge of a tainted election as the public continues finding fault with his every scarf, move or dance.
The public has found fault with how the closure of borders came late.
It was supposed to be a swift move that would have shut out every Chinese and foreigner and averted the country’s rickety health system from squaring against the swift punches of Coronavirus.
He failed to do that and waited until the last minute and porously shut down the borders but not before enough foreigners had arrived to plant the seedlings of the virus.
Public sentiment shifted to reduced gatherings.
They wanted the government to end all the gatherings.
Mnangagwa did all in slow motion. First crowds reduced to 100. A thousand men rally interlude. Then another reduction to 50.
A ban on travelling. A brief interlude journey to Namibia to see someone being told what they already know.
The public was aghast at the leader. To them he was not serious and did not understand the seriousness of the situation.
“Can’t he see what other serious leaders like Ramaphosa are doing?’ they queried.
Then the public wanted a lockdown. It had a novelty to it as the images from media sources showed. No work. No school. No what. Just sitting. They wanted it and they wanted it now.
Everyone became a medical expert quoting WHO and a suddenly famous Dr Tedros. We all kew about Wuhan and the quarantine that did magic.
The lockdown ultimately came. Late again. When the infected had already waltzed around and planted the virus.
The man found himself under fire for copying Ramaphosa and a raft of accusations.
The lockdown was a poor imitation which was not contextual and lacked every ingredient work locally. How could people stay in their homes when 76% were informally employed?
Who will feed us? Cannot he do what Rwanda and Kagame are doing?
Under a social safety net programme government has since unveiled a programme that will give the vulnerable a once-of payment of ZWL$200 per individual and the public has gone ballistic querying a paltry offer that buys nothing of note.
Intent to control a likely hot zone, the Mbare Musika, the government shut it down and the vegetarians would have none of it. Why has he shut down Mbare Musika? Where will buy our commodities?
Then the government opened the market and the anger has been of equal measure in the other direction.
Each day the President finds himself exactly where he was yesterday, unwanted and forever in the cross hairs.
He could have occupied a moral high ground by sheathing himself with justifications of decisive actions and sound moves but even that is lacking from his own armoury.
The public may have an axe to grind against him since the election days but the man has much meditation to do about his own ability too.