President Emmerson Mnangagwa has defended the recent launch of the country’s first satellite, Zimbabwe Satellite (ZimSat-1), saying it will enable the government to make timeous responses to disasters such as pandemics.
The government has been criticised for prioritising space projects when it is failing to adequately fund health and education among other critical national needs.
But Mnangagwa, writing in his column in the Sunday Mail, said the project will assist in disaster mitigation. He said:
Many thought this was rank madness by some starry-eyed dreamers, was something well beyond our reach given the myriad challenges we grappled with at the time.
Our infrastructure was broken, our economy was in a state of collapse and we endured long hours of power outages. Yet there we were, dreaming about participating in the space economy.
ZimSat-1 allows us to see our country from outer space. We are also able to make key interventions in national health, including foreseeing pandemics in time for timeous responses.