This is our second series and edition of the COVID-19: Mining Sector and Communities’ Situational Report (SitRep). We promised that so long Covid-19 is breaking-up families, disturbing livelihoods and causing economic and political tension in different parts of the world, we will continue to track its real and potential impacts on mining communities we work within Zimbabwe on a weekly basis. We have lived up to our promise. As we have seen an upsurge of passion amongst different organisations to produce situational reports, we pride in being one of the first groups in Zimbabwe’s mining sector to produce a Situational Report, but again, sad that the world is being ravaged by a silent and invisible enemy and virus that knows no colour, race, creed, social status, age or sex. As on the 8th of April 2020, Zimbabwe tested 371 cases, 11 positive cases and 3 deaths. The numbers are low compared to other countries, but we believe every individual case is a statistic, a worry and a cause of anxiety and pain to the nation. With more testing, the numbers may increase. Therefore, our concerns on the current situation in Zimbabwe on COVID-19 are twofold, a) adoption of prevention, containment and treatment systems and procedures for mining communities in case COVID-19 reaches a high apex in the country and b) the impact on community livelihoods, human rights, social well-being, good governance principles and the economy. Communities and citizens have to prepare for any eventuality.
In this Second Series we give a keyhole snapshot of a mix of developments, responses, compliance levels, exemptions to the lockdown, legal developments and impacts of COVID- 19 on communities, citizens, mine workers, artisanal miners and small-scale miners (ASM) and large-scale miners post the effective date of the National Lockdown -viz 30th of March 2020. However, it is by no means exhaustive of developments in the sector.
In keeping with our organisational approach, we gathered information from more than 200 ZELA affiliated community monitors, media reports and public statements by Government officials and corporates. In all this we adhere to our Safeguarding Policies and Principles of doing no harm to our communities and stakeholders. We encourage them to socially and physically distance- to stay safe by staying at home and not put themselves at risks of contracting or spreading COVID-19. They collect information using their own social media contacts and networks at community level, which will be triangulated by ZELA.