The ZANU-PF led government is facing severe criticism over setting up a fund to receive monetary donations from citizens to fight cholera while spending millions of dollars buying expensive cars that deliver peak luxury in cosseting comfort.
In a tweet late evening on Thursday Professor Mthuli Ncube announced plans to set up an auditable emergency crowd fund to further efforts to fight cholera.
While a noble idea, the crowd-sourcing fund initiative has not gone down well with many people.
Former Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science & Technology Development, Professor Jonathan Moyo came out guns blazing and took to Twitter to describe the citizens Cholera donation initiative as an admission of failure by government and an embarrassment of untold proportions.
Wrong. A Cholera Crowd Fund initiated & run by the Ministry of Finance for the Ministry of Heath is an admission of failure by a clueless government. It’s an embarrassment of untold proportions. This would be understandable & a great success as a private sector initiative!
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) September 13, 2018
Advocate Fadzai Mahere did not mince her words, heavily criticising government’s plans descring them as a crystal case of misplaced priorities.
How does a govt that splurges on jets & cars crowdfund for a national emergency? Does the right to life mean nothing at all to this new administration? If you can’t prioritize funding public health in the midst of a crisis, we are going nowhere very quickly. This is an insult. https://t.co/Yp03xXJJ1D
— Fadzayi Mahere (@advocatemahere) September 13, 2018
Several people took time to remind the government of the idea and purpose of “Income-Tax” and the fact that charity and donations are the wrong way to solve structural issues in the country’s health sector.
For many people the principal matter of concern is not whether or not the fund is auditable or if the money is not genuinely needed.
It is government’s reputation that overwhelmingly demonstrates failure to prioritise policy initiatives and excessive public spending ‘taps on full blast’ that are detrimental to economic growth.
Oxfam Country Director Machinda Marongwe tweeted saying cholera outbreak requires a holistic solution.
#Zimbabwe #CholeraOutbreak #263Chat #Twimbos
The cholera outbreak needs a holistic solution that not only focus on the immediate needs but address the structural drivers of water borne diseases in Harare @MthuliNcube @MKademaunga @gladyshlatywayo @LanceGuma
— Machinda Marongwe (@MMarongwe) September 13, 2018
Team Pachedu, an anonymous but popular handle on the micro-blogging site weighed in imploring the government to first implement wide-ranging reforms aimed at increasing the government transparency.
Thank you for the initiative. However, we know Zimbabwe better than you do. Implement sweeping audit reforms in the GVT first, only can the public be more willing to help in such initiatives. Below is an extract some of the anomalies in audit report by the AG presented last year. pic.twitter.com/0iAmcR0Ah0
— TeamPachedu (@PacheduZW) September 13, 2018
Former Chronicle Editor and Journalist Mduduzi Mathuthu plainly refused to offer even a single cent.
Mdu is right. This would make sense if it were coming from Medecins San Frontieres or the Red Cross not from the Minister of Finance. I’m all for working together but It is ridiculous and insulting especially after money has been spent on cars and chartered planes
— Son of a Manyika (@leo_mucci) September 13, 2018
The issue of government expenditure was top amongst citizens’concerns and many economic experts like Former Minister of International Trade and Develoment, Dr Nkosana Moyo have always argued that splashing the government’s cash would be a bad policy and bad politics altogether.
Clearly the New Finance Minister touched a raw nerve when he asked for donations.
I’m in solidarity with those affected by the cholera epidemic. But imi muri kuita basa rekutengera ma chief, ma war vet and parliamentarians mota. Grace traveLled in a private jet at the expense of the national fiscus then mouya kuzotikumbira Ecocash? NONSENSE!!!!
— Sheikh Fizzy bin Collins Al Makams? (@colinmakams) September 13, 2018
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe chief executive Mr Douglas Mboweni yesterday his company availed $10 million towards containing a dual outbreak of cholera and typhoid.
The President’s Fund has already released $100 000 tfighting cholera, while Quest Motors donated a 3,5 tonne truck to assist with logistical requirements during the course of the outbreak.
Like the Zimbabwe Governement, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) launched a $250 000 appeal for it to assist in efforts to fight the outbreak.
Zimbabwe’s government has declared a state of emergency in the capital Harare after 21 people died of cholera.