MY ORDEAL WHEN I TESTED POSITIVE

Fears are growing that the government is poorly equipped to
deal with confirmed coronavirus cases, following shocking revelations by a
52-year-old Ruwa resident who tested positive after a trip to the Middle East.

The new coronavirus, also known a…

Fears are growing that the government is poorly equipped to deal with confirmed coronavirus cases, following shocking revelations by a 52-year-old Ruwa resident who tested positive after a trip to the Middle East. The new coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, was in January confirmed to have spread from the Chinese city of Wuhan. It has spread fast throughout the world, killing more than

Mwonzora’s evil plot against people’s favourite leader Nelson Chamisa exposed (SEE LEAKED CHAT)

Prominent Zimbabwean journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono has posted on social media some pictures which are purported to be a chat between reinstated MDC Secretary-General Douglas Mwonzora and an unknown person which suggest that Mwonzora is working wi…

Prominent Zimbabwean journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono has posted on social media some pictures which are purported to be a chat between reinstated MDC Secretary-General Douglas Mwonzora and an unknown person which suggest that Mwonzora is working with the ruling ZANU PF to elbow Nelson Chamisa out of power. The alleged chat is leaked when the Supreme […]

Nelson Chamisa faces trouble as Thokozani Khupe demands to know how he used $7 million party funds

Mr Nelson Chamisa, whose ascension to the helm of the opposition MDC in February 2018 was recently nullified by the Supreme Court, has to account for the $7 million he received under the Political Parties Finance Act. Last week, the Supreme Court shock…

Mr Nelson Chamisa, whose ascension to the helm of the opposition MDC in February 2018 was recently nullified by the Supreme Court, has to account for the $7 million he received under the Political Parties Finance Act. Last week, the Supreme Court shockingly upheld a High Court ruling which declared Mr Chamisa as an illegitimate […]

Congress: Komichi, Mwonzora and Mudzuri gang up against Chamisa, shut the door on Biti and Ncube

Douglas Mwonzora and Morgan Komichi are keeping their cards close to their chests as fresh battles erupt for control of the mainstream MDC after the Supreme Court ruled that Thokozani Khupe is the legitimate leader of the party. In a shock move, Mwonzo…

Douglas Mwonzora and Morgan Komichi are keeping their cards close to their chests as fresh battles erupt for control of the mainstream MDC after the Supreme Court ruled that Thokozani Khupe is the legitimate leader of the party. In a shock move, Mwonzora and Komichi jumped into Khupe’s corner as soon as the judgement was […]

Water Crisis: Bulawayo City Council announces bad news to residents

AT least three suburbs in Bulawayo will go for a minimum of eight months without water as it has emerged that the city’s supply dams only received inflows enough to last for a month during the just ended rainy season. So gloomy is the picture, th…

AT least three suburbs in Bulawayo will go for a minimum of eight months without water as it has emerged that the city’s supply dams only received inflows enough to last for a month during the just ended rainy season. So gloomy is the picture, that officials at the city council said sections of three […]

Ex-footballer hospitalised as drunk police officers run amok and heavily bash residents

POLICE in Victoria Falls are investigating a case where four junior officers, who were seemingly drunk, allegedly ran amok and assaulted residents leaving two injured and hospitalised on Friday evening. The beatings left Mr Munyaradzi Sakho (29) who is…

POLICE in Victoria Falls are investigating a case where four junior officers, who were seemingly drunk, allegedly ran amok and assaulted residents leaving two injured and hospitalised on Friday evening. The beatings left Mr Munyaradzi Sakho (29) who is a former Triangle FC soccer player hospitalised at Victoria Falls Hospital with multiple injuries on the […]

LATEST: Game over for MDC Alliance rebels Morgen Komichi and Douglas Mwonzora

Jameson Timba the Deputy Secretary-General in the MDC Alliance has said that rebels Morgen Komichi and Douglas Mwonzora have been automatically expelled from the party. Timba’s remarks were echoed by the party’s posts on social media which …

Jameson Timba the Deputy Secretary-General in the MDC Alliance has said that rebels Morgen Komichi and Douglas Mwonzora have been automatically expelled from the party. Timba’s remarks were echoed by the party’s posts on social media which suggested that the expulsion was in line with the resolutions of the party’s 5th congress that was held […]

Police water cannons used to fumigate Harare

Source: Police water cannons used to fumigate Harare | Herald (Top Stories) As part of the National Clean-Up Campaign, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Harare City Council and the Ministry of Health and Child Care yesterday, using ZRP 600-litre water cannons traditionally used during riot control, started disinfecting highly populated areas and potential Covid-19 hotspots in […]

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Source: Police water cannons used to fumigate Harare | Herald (Top Stories)

As part of the National Clean-Up Campaign, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Harare City Council and the Ministry of Health and Child Care yesterday, using ZRP 600-litre water cannons traditionally used during riot control, started disinfecting highly populated areas and potential Covid-19 hotspots in Mbare high density suburb and the capital city as they take advantage of the 21 days of national lock-down period. – Picture: Believe Nyakudjara

Victor Maphosa Herald Correspondent
Police have deployed public order vehicles equipped with water cannons to fumigate areas known for high human traffic.

The chemicals used during the fumigation are being supplied by Harare City Council.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the exercise was a partnership between the police and the council to fumigate high risk areas.

“We have partnered City of Harare to fumigate some areas in and around the Central Business District (CBD). The local authority has supplied chemicals and the police have availed public order vehicles. This is to ensure public safety in the wake of Covid-19. We have already fumigated Mbare musika, the down-town area, Copacabana, Market Square, RoadPort, Mupedzanhamo market and other places. The exercise will not end there as we are planning to fumigate more places,” he said.

Along with these preventative interventions, the police continue enforcing the law, arresting 390 more people on Thursday and yesterday for defying the lock-down directive bringing the total arrests to 875.

They were mostly arrested for illegally opening their bars, operating shebeens, vending and loitering among other offences. They were fined between $200 and $500 each.

Assistant Commissioner Nyathi said police will continue to arrest such offenders.

“We continue to urge people to comply with the directive and other measures which are meant to protect them from this pandemic. As police, we are there to enforce the law. We are appealing to the public to be compliant and avoid being arrested,” he said.

He said the police will continue to monitor the situation across the country and ensure everyone is compliant.

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Coping with Coronavirus Zimbabwe style

Source: Coping with Coronavirus Zimbabwe style | The Zimbabwean On an early morning emergency dash to collect supplies I was anxious about venturing out and what I would see. It was Day 5 of Zimbabwe’s 21-day Coronavirus lockdown and I knew that by now people who live hand to mouth and eke out living selling […]

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Source: Coping with Coronavirus Zimbabwe style | The Zimbabwean

On an early morning emergency dash to collect supplies I was anxious about venturing out and what I would see. It was Day 5 of Zimbabwe’s 21-day Coronavirus lockdown and I knew that by now people who live hand to mouth and eke out living selling fruit and vegetables from roadside stalls would be getting desperate. Our taps were dry for the second day running and with gloves and a mask on I set out. People were out looking for water already, so far there was no news on where there were supplies of maize meal, the staple food.

I passed a man pushing a wheelbarrow with five empty yellow water containers, heading towards a public borehole. Fourteen people were already there ahead of him, standing in line at the borehole waiting for their turn to use the hand pump and fill their containers with water. This is coping with Coronavirus Zimbabwe-style.

Further along with a policewoman in uniform ignored me, she was busy taking a selfie photograph of herself on the side of the road, a block or two from the town centre. She wasn’t wearing a face mask.  A group of four police men and women armed with truncheons were having an altercation with a man carrying a small cardboard box. None of the police were wearing face masks despite being a few inches away from the man. This is coping with Coronavirus Zimbabwe-style.

All week we’ve been seeing pictures of big crowds of people desperately trying to buy maize meal in Harare and Bulawayo. No chance for social distancing, no sign of masks, just a massive squash of people trying to get food for their families, people who have to choose between hunger and an invisible virus. Almost five hundred people have been arrested this week for being on the streets in breach of lockdown, crammed into police lorries and taken away but in the same week, 1680 prisoners have been released because prisons are overcrowded and congested. This is coping with Coronavirus Zimbabwe-style.

On Day 5 of Zimbabwe lockdown, news had already filtered out that in the early hours of the morning police had raided Sakubva market in Mutare and confiscated three tons of fresh vegetables which were later set alight. Burning food when the country is in lockdown, people are desperate for food and over half the population is dependent on International Food Aid to survive, is very hard to understand.

Almost home from my early morning dash, two police details were standing in the middle of the road and indicated for me to stop and open my window, asking where I was going and why. The policewoman who came to my window wasn’t wearing a mask or gloves and the obvious question that came to mind was: what if she’s got Coronavirus, isn’t she passing it on to every person she stops and questions? Isn’t this making complete nonsense of lockdown, defeating the whole purpose of confining people to their homes to stop the spread of Covid 19? This is coping, or not, with Coronavirus, Zimbabwe-style. God help us.

Until next time, thanks for reading this Letter From Zimbabwe, now in its 20th year, and my books about life in Zimbabwe, love Cathy 3 April 2020. Copyright © Cathy Buckle.  http://cathybuckle.co.zw/
For information on my books about Zimbabwe go to www.lulu.com/spotlight/CathyBuckle2018 . For archives of Letters From Zimbabwe, to see pictures that accompany these articles and to subscribe/unsubscribe or to contact me please visit my website http://cathybuckle.co.zw/

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‘We will starve’: Zimbabwe’s poor full of misgiving over Covid-19 lockdown

Source: ‘We will starve’: Zimbabwe’s poor full of misgiving over Covid-19 lockdown | Global development | The Guardian Unable to access state benefits, food and even running water as the country shuts up shop, people in Harare fear the worst  A handful of pedestrians walk the streets of Harare following President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s declaration of […]

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Source: ‘We will starve’: Zimbabwe’s poor full of misgiving over Covid-19 lockdown | Global development | The Guardian

Unable to access state benefits, food and even running water as the country shuts up shop, people in Harare fear the worst

A handful of pedestrians walk the streets of Harare following President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s declaration of a national lockdown
 A handful of pedestrians walk the streets of Harare following President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s declaration of a national lockdown. Photograph: Aaron Ufumeli/EPA

Nelson Mahunde, 70, trudges along the deserted streets of Harare’s central business district to collect his monthly pension.

In one hand, he clutches a pension letter; with the other, he hold on firmly to his walking stick.

The frail Mahunde has travelled from Murehwa, about 100km from Harare, to collect the meagre amount of money, equivalent to $10 (£8).

To his dismay, the bank is closed.

He pleads with the security guard to withdraw enough cash for his bus fare, but the ATM has no money. Mahunde is turned away.

The 70-year old had no idea Zimbabwe has been plunged into a 21-day national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid 19. The country has eight confirmed cases, and one death. The popular television journalist Zororo Makamba died last week.

“No one in my village told me that the banks would be closed today. I don’t even know what to do. My family depends on that money for survival. If it is true that no one will be moving for 21 days, then my family will starve,” says Mahunde.

“It is going to be the longest 21 days ever. There is nothing at home,” Mahunde said.

He already has to take on work as a cobbler to pay for the daily medication he needs for hypertension. His pension doesn’t cover the cost.

“This pandemic has just come to worsen things for us here in Zimbabwe. We are already suffering, and being forced to stay indoors for that long will further depress us,” he says, walking away from the bank.

Across the street, Joyce Meki, 52, sits at her newspaper stall waiting for customers.

But there are none in sight. Most Zimbabweans have heeded government calls to stay at home.

“Food is my major problem, so that’s why I came to work. I have no choice. I thought it was better to come to work, maybe a few customers would buy newspapers. But there is no one here. I regret ever coming here today,” she says.

A woman sweeps the street in Harare on day one of Zimbabwe’s three-week nationwide lockdown
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 A woman sweeps the street in Harare on day one of Zimbabwe’s three-week nationwide lockdown. Photograph: Aaron Ufumeli/EPA

Meki usually earns $5 a week, but it is insufficient to meet her daily needs.

“I take care of my three grandchildren, who all look up to me. Now that they are home, they would need food all the time. It is going to be costly for me.”

While affluent Zimbabweans stocked their pantries with food last weekend in preparation for the lockdown, which began on Monday, poor people were unable to do so. With basics such as mielie-meal in short supply, many fear they may not survive.

Hilal Elver, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, last year warned that Zimbabwe was on the verge of “manmade starvation”, with 60% of the population already facing hunger.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that 7.7 million Zimbabweans – about half the population – will face food insecurity this year. The agency said it needs $111m to support people between March and August.

“WFP is determined to ensure that it continues to meet the urgent food and nutrition needs of almost 4 million people in Zimbabwe who depend on food assistance,” said WFP communications officer Claire Nevil.

Clutching a small shopping bag, Peter Banda, 62, from Tynwald in the west of the city, waits impatiently for a bus to take him home.

Banda has spent all he had on groceries that should sustain him for three weeks.

“I came to town to find food, I cannot just sit at home and watch my grandchildren starve. I cannot work for myself because I suffer from different ailments which require me to eat healthy. I know this is not enough to last me till the end of the lockdown, but I just hope that God will keep us during this time,” Banda said.

Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, announced a 21-day national lockdown to curb the spread of the virus, which could devastate a nation already struggling to provide decent health facilities forits people. Borders have been closed and gatherings of more than 50 people banned, with people encouraged to stay at home.

The government maintains that the country is ready to deal with the virus. But last week hundreds of doctors and nurses who work in public hospitals went on strike over the lack of protective equipment.

Apart from the ill-equipped health facilities, cities like Harare have no running water. Acute water shortages sometimes last for months – even years – and have made regular handwashing nearly impossible.

In the poor suburb of Kuwadzana, residents crowd around communal wells, heightening fears that the virus will be spread by close contact. Social distancing remains an elusive goal.

As traders take advantage of rising demand, price increases mean residents cannot afford hand sanitiser.

“How can we wash our hands regularly when there is no running water? The 21-day lockdown will not achieve anything if our taps remain dry. This is what the government forgot to address when it proclaimed the lockdown,” says 19-year-old Macdonald Moyo.

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