Claim: A message circulating on social media claimed that people should wear face masks when going to vote.
“Please make sure to wear a face mask during the voting period next week. It’s an unwritten requirement, which will be implemented. Just like at revenue halls etc., clever ones will make $$$. Please don’t be turned away,” read the message.
Contacted for a comment, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Deputy Chairperson, Commissioner Rodney Kiwa said face masks are not mandatory.
“Where are people getting that, mask-wearing is no longer compulsory in Zimbabwe, who are we, we are not the ministry of health or government that we can force people to wear,” he said.
“If people feel like they want to sanitize hands or pens which are used, they are free to do that but it’s not compulsory, it’s not even government law, where are they getting that,” said Commissioner Kiwa.
Background: The Ministry of Health and Child Care lifted face mask wearing in Zimbabwe using the Statutory Instrument (SI) 102 of 2023.
“Whereas the World Health Organisation on the 4th May, 2023, released a statement that Covid-19 no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern: And whereas the Government of Zimbabwe subsequently directed that mandatory wearing of face masks be lifted, that all border control measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 be lifted and that tourists no longer be required to produce Covid-19 vaccination certificates and negative Covid PCR tests at ports of entry or at tourist resorts around the country,” reads SI 102 of 2023.