Trust, Leaders & COVID-19

1. According to the Afrobarometer Survey 2021, Zimbabweans have more trust in NGOs (79%) & religious leaders (78%) than the President (48%), MPs (44%) & councillors (38%). These figures are critically important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. The unelected wield enormous power over citizens. They are trusted. In a contest between the president & a priest (or prophet to use Zim’s favoured vocabulary) regarding COVID-19 vaccines, citizens are more likely to trust the priest/prophet’s word than the president’s.
3. It’s bad enough that citizens already have doubts over vaccine safety. Afrobarometer says 51% of Zimbabweans do not trust that the government will ensure that vaccines are safe while 51% said they were unlikely to try to get vaccinated. Vaccine skepticism is itself a pandemic.
4. If religious leaders who enjoy significant trust are at the forefront of vaccine skepticism, the problem is bigger & harder to manage. Their flock is likely to follow them. This creates potential for disaster. A fly that does not heed advice follows the corpse into the grave.
5. The irony is that well-meaning people are berating rich nations for vaccine hoarding, yet some religious leaders in poor countries are discouraging people from getting vaccinated. The same people are very happy to enjoy Western comforts & have access to the best medical care.
6. This is not the time to play games with people’s lives. We often say to politicians that those who have power must use it responsibly. But the unelected also have enormous power. NGOs, religious & traditional leaders must use the trust invested in them responsibly.
7. The rich world is getting vaccinated. Large sections of their populations now have some defence mechanism. It is not 100% & nobody said it is. But it is significantly better to be than not to be. Don’t listen to gossip & conspiracy theories. Protect yourself & your loved ones.
8. I was talking to a friend who said, “But Alex although you are unelected maybe there are some who trust you, why don’t you say something?” I don’t know if anyone trusts me. I just happen to speak and write a lot. But thought about it & said there’s no harm putting in a word.
9. For the record, I had my 2 AZ jabs in April & June. I had a few side effects after the first - the nausea was annoying, but none after the 2nd. I still tread with caution of course because I know it’s not 100%. But I did it. Please go & get vaccinated. Avoid voodoo theories.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Alex T Magaisa 🇿🇼

Alex T Magaisa 🇿🇼 Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @Wamagaisa

9 Jul
1. Efforts to vaccinate the nation are commendable. But we must also be vigilant re: the other pandemic - corruption. The government’s numbers don’t add up. Let’s start with Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube in January 2021 saying government had set aside US$100 million for vaccines ImageImage
2. Two weeks later, the Minister of Health & VP Constantino Chiwenga said the cost of the national vaccination program was going to be US$6,7 million. Both Ncube & Chiwenga’s figures are based on the same numbers to be vaccinated: 10 million people. ImageImageImage
3. The gulf is so wide that a reasonable person has a duty to raise serious questions. The man in charge of the national purse says US$100 million while the man in charge of health says US$6,7 million. The difference is a whooping US$93,3 million! We’re also getting donations
Read 8 tweets
6 Jul
1. Someone sent me a copy of this public statement by Kuvimba Mining House which is named in The Sentry’s report on egregious corruption in Zimbabwe. Methinks the company doth protest too much. The only thing that the statement has achieved is to raise more questions & suspicions Image
2. Kuvimba says it has nothing to do with Kuda Tagwirei but it lists Ziwa (Pvt) Ltd among its shareholders. But we already know that one shareholder of Ziwa is Pfimbi Resources whose shareholders are Kuda Tagwirei and his wife. The denial is vacuous and less than honest. Image
3. Kuvimba confirms that the assets it holds were originally owned by Sotic International and says it acquired them as part of “restructuring”. Tagwirei has/had interests Sotic so the attempt to distance itself from him are futile, disingenuous and embarrassing. Image
Read 4 tweets
5 Jul
How to loot in Zimbabwe

1. Looting methods in Zimbabwe are so simple it’s like a thief stealing from your home while you’re all watching. You think no, it can’t be, but it is! I have written this several times but let me use this thread to describe one of the simplest methods.
2. A Government department or parastatal wants to procure goods worth US$5 million. There are legitimate vendors who can supply the goods but they don’t get the contract. Instead, the contract goes to Peter who is a PEP (politically exposed person). That’s his only qualification.
3. Peter doesn’t have the money, but even if he has it, he won’t put his money at risk. So the government pays him the US$5 million as “advance payment”. Peter then goes to the vendor & orders the goods. The goods will actually be worth US$4 million so Peter will pocket a million
Read 13 tweets
4 Jul
1. While most MDC Alliance supporters were excited by the findings of @afrobarometer showing the marginal presence of MDC-T, they shouldn’t ignore the less palatable findings. For example, perceptions of how the government has handled the pandemic shouldn’t be underestimated.
2. Afrobarometer found that 81% agreed with the lockdown measures. This may confound some people but remember this survey considered lockdowns last year when most of the world was unsure and scared of the new virus. 81% felt the government had done well in the circumstances.
3. The findings also show that more people were tolerant of the restrictions of democratic rights and freedoms. Again this may be explained by the fear of what seemed to be an existential threat to the nation & humanity. But the regime has & may continue to exploit this tolerance
Read 8 tweets
15 Jun
1. The RBZ tells us it had a problem with 18 entities. To “solve” the problem the regime issued a decree (SI127) affecting 16 million people. In their wisdom, our elders would refer to this as the behaviour of a foolish man who burns the family home in order to kill a rat.
2. This purported clarification by the RBZ means the regime fired the gun into the crowd before asking questions. Why did it not carry out these so-called consultations before issuing the ridiculous decree? The damage has already been done. But that’s typical of this regime.
3. However, if people in the business community take the RBZ statement seriously, then they need their heads examined. A press statement does not amend a law. SI127 is a law of general application. It affects everyone, therefore, unless it’s amended it’s still applicable to all.
Read 4 tweets
14 Jun
1. Fidelity Printers & Refinery (FPR) is Zimbabwe’s gold refiner & for a long time the holder of a monopoly in the purchase & export of gold. It is also the printer of currency and security documents. This is a story of how at its peak, FPR was punching well above its weight.
2. I was fascinated to learn that at one point FPR had overspill contracts to print US$ notes for the Federal Reserve. It also used to print currency & other securities for several countries in Africa. For example, FPR printed cheques for the Central Bank of Angola among others.
3. FPR had contracts to produce passports for SADC officials & Certificates of Origin for the Comesa Region. FPR produced phone recharge cards for Egyptian, Tunisian & Moroccan telecoms companies. It also serviced the local telecoms companies Econet NetOne, Telecel, TelOne, etc
Read 10 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!