VILLAGERS in Buhera central have turned a deaf ear to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call for a 35 days national lockdown citing that the disease was not a poor man’s problem but that of the rich and urban dwellers.
By Edson Mapani In Bhuhera
President Mnanagwa announced a national lockdown which commenced on March 30, 2020 to curb the spread of the virus which has already claimed four lives and infected 32 people in Zimbabwe.
However, villagers in Buhera Central Constituency are defying lockdown measures as they publicly gather imbibing traditional beer populary known as “seven days.”
One of the villagers, and a regular imbiber of the beer, Mr Enos Pfumbidza from Pfumbidza Village in Chirozva said that the the Covid 19 disease was not their problem and that if ever detected, it will not survive under the sweltering Buhera temperatures.
In as much as I understand about the Covid 19 virus through the radio, I strongly believe that it is only prevalent in towns and cities and in the unlikely of situations that it is detected here in the hinterland of Chirozva, it will not withstand our hot temperatures,” he said rather nonchalantly.
Another villager, Mrs Marian Matiza, who is also an influential business-woman at Gwama Business Centre, the area around where the traditional beer is regularly brewed cited ignorance on the part of the community.
“The issue of traditional beer being brewed and the people publicly gathering in numbers during the time that our nation and world at large is battling to contain the novel Covid19 pandemic is pretty saddening to say the least This should stop forthwith.
“However, it is equally dispiriting to note that, despite the dearth of information and education concerning Covid19 to the people here, the imbibers are just not receptive to advice. They are an adamant lot,” she said.
The traditional leader for the area, Headman Wilson Chirozva said that he had just concluded a meeting (on Saturday) with village heads in the presence of Ward 23 Councilor, Mr Rambai Magaisa and the District Adminstrator where he underscored the need for observing the lockdown measures, with those found on the wrong side having to be arraigned before his traditional court.
Having been brought up to speed on the matter, Officer In Charge Muzokomba Police Station, Inspector Chikweya, under whose policing jurisdiction this area falls said the lack of adequate information regarding COVID-19 in the area was a major contributor to the business as usual approach.
“Owing to the unavailability of information as to where and when traditional beer will be brewed, the police would appreciate heads-up from members of the community on what will be taking place in their respective areas in regard to the same.”