As the covid-19 case load continues to rise and more Zimbabwean from foreign lands return home, a traditional leader has accused some of his subjects of ‘hiding’ relatives that have returned from South Africa and Botswana.
Speaking recently during a YAFM programme Kick Out Covid-19 to raise awareness and preparedness about the disease in the Zvishavane and surrounding communities, Chief Mapanzure said the efforts to fight the disease are being hampered by social gathering such as funerals which the community has always attended in numbers to console the bereaved.
“Bit by bit people are accepting the reality of coronavirus disease and adhering to the regulations announced by government to prevent the spread of the illness.
The problem is gatherings like funerals where our people would like to attend and console each other, but we are raising awareness together with headmen, village head, chiefs’ aides and councillors that people should not forget that the disease is real,” he said.
Chief Mapanzure also took a swipe at villagers who do not disclose that they have received returnees from the neighbouring countries of South Africa and Botswana as this works against curbing the spread of covid-19.
“There is a problem arising is from returning residents coming back from South Africa. There is need for strong awareness that if someone comes back home, it’s not a crime.
The families should report about the returnees to the leadership in the community to curb the spread of coronavirus. That’s the problem we face.
People should disclose if they have a relativewho has returned home. There are people who are failing to disclose that they have relatives who have returned from South Africa.
We wish if neighbours and villagers could report about the returnees, instead of keeping their return a secret,” said the traditional leader.
The chiefs concern comes amid reports that eight people escaped from a coronavirus quarantine facility in Beitbridge before completing the mandatory 21 day stay required by the covid-19 protocols.
Media reports also indicate hundreds of Zimbabweans have been crossing back into the country illegally thus evading mandatory quarantine and testing at the country’s border posts.
This group therefore poses a risk to the community, especially coming from the covid-19 hotspot that South Africa has become without undergoing screening and testing.
Chief Mapanzure also raised the issue of hunger in the community and appealed for the inclusion of urban dwellers who have gone to rural areas on the list of people needing food assistance.