After a big surge in COVID-19 cases in January 2021, followed by more severe lockdowns, the rate of infection has slowed, but is very difficult to contain due to very limited testing, personal protective equipment and vaccines. Vaccination has only recently begun and is very limited in its reach, and may take two years or more to complete. Due to the pandemic over 174,000 migrant workers have returned, mainly from South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Europe. Hence remittance income into the country is down.
The prospect of a 30-day wait for the final burial of former president and dictator Robert Mugabe was short-circuited when the government abruptly abandoned the proposed Heroes Acre ceremony and the immediate family buried Mugabe at his Zvimba homestead on September 28, 2019. By then the country had well and truly moved on, under the intense pressure of 200 per cent inflation, currency, fuel, water and food shortages.