Zimbabwe’s leadership needs prayers as the country’s socio-economic crisis shows no signs of abetting, a minister said yesterday.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

The country is undergoing its worst crisis in years characterised by a collapsing local currency, rising cost of basics and services and fuel shortages among other economic ills.

The heath sector is facing a crisis after nurses downed tools, with junior doctors set to follow suit over poor wages and deteriorating working conditions.

“Let us also pray for our leaders because we are going through difficult times. We are battling with COVID-19 and we must follow laid down regulations so that we do not perish,” Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister Judith Ncube said at a funeral service for the late national hero Stanley Nleya held at the White City stadium yesterday.

Nleya, a former Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra)commander who led the demobilisation process before being integrated into the Zimbabwe National Army where he served as one of the senior commanders, passed away last week at a local hospital aged 72.

He was declared a national hero and his remains will be interred at the National Heroes Acre today.

“I was in Masendu (Nleya’s rural home) yesterday and got a message that we must encourage the use of our currency. The pastor preaching at Nleya’s house also raised the same issue. No one can fix our country besides us,” Ncube added.

Some retailers were now rejecting bond notes. Bond coins were long rejected by the transacting public but central bank governor John Mangudya in a statement said the coins and notes remained legal tender.

At Nleya’s send-off yesterday, speaker after speaker described him as a national hero par excellence.

“We would like to thank President Mnangagwa for honouring our father Nleya. With the new dispensation we see more Zipra cadres getting the recognition they deserve,” said Joseph Tshuma, who spoke on behalf of the ruling party.

Nleya is one of the few former Zipra ex-combatants to be recognised as a national hero by the government. Many, including Zipra commander Lookout Masuku were interred at the Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo which has served as a heroes acre for members of Zapu and its military wing.

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