Zimbabwe’s social policy response to COVID-19 and implications for social work

  • John Chiwanza Magocha


The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed into a global social, political and economic crisis, impacting significantly on manifest vulnerabilities. Governments in third world countries, already reeling from economic and other shocks, found themselves with a new existential predicament that demanded clear and present responses. Across the globe, the crisis invited quick policy measures to contain and halt the spread of the pandemic. Zimbabwe, like other countries, adopted a raft of policy measures, including statutory instruments and presidential decrees that had a major impact on the livelihoods of the people, in the backdrop of significant economic, social and political crises. This paper investigated the policy measures adopted by the Zimbabwean government to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring that the social protection needs of the people were catered for. This paper notes that the policy options assumed by government in response to the pandemic seemed more knee jerk reactions premised on what other countries were doing, rather than well thought out strategies that responded to the prevailing realities of the country. Therefore, instead of mitigating the already existing and novel threats, the policy responses in some measure accentuated and compounded those vulnerabilities. This paper thus calls for government to promulgate and implement policy options that take due cognisance of the prevailing national social and economic imperatives.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2409-5605
print ISSN: 1563-3934