Examining the robustness of Zimbabwean social protection mechanisms in the context of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Pervasiveness of the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) (COVID-19) pandemic has called into question the appropriateness of many countries’ social security systems. This article explores dynamics of Zimbabwe’s current social security trajectory in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic. Despite operational shortcomings, it is undisputed that that Zimbabwe has a robust social security system galvanised by a well-functioning Department of Social Services. However, social assistance programmes targeting vulnerable person’s social assistance present as insufficient, fragmented due to inflationary pressures. Significantly, on 30 March 2020 the Minister of Finance and Economic Development promulgated a ZWL$200 (approximately US $550,000) million safety net availing monthly, targeting one million vulnerable households under the harmonised cash transfer programme. Effectively, this was to translate to ZWL$200 per household. Through reliance on secondary literature review, article aimed at gaining insights into social security administration domains in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using social work lens grounded on advancing of service users’ enhanced dignity and social functioning, article’s conclusions and recommendations are for advancement of Zimbabwe’s social security towards desired outcomes of Sustainable Development Goal 1 realisation of ending poverty. When this is achievable can desired outcomes of safeguarding of vulnerable persons from COVID-19 impacts be achieved.