MACRAD continues to monitor how citizens in Masvingo are responding to COVID19 second phase lockdown measures. The Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Ezra Chadzamira has said the province has capacity to handle the coronavirus pandemic as government was equipping more isolation centers with all critical technology. Chadzamira, who also chairs the Masvingo Provincial Covid-19 Taskforce, made the remarks in a correspondence to Macrad in the wake of Masvingo recording its first confirmed case of Covid-19 on Wednesday, May 20. The first local case is reported to be a female who was recently repatriated from a neighboring country and had been quarantined at Masvingo Teachers’ College. The patient has now been moved to Rujeko Isolation Centre where she is said to be stable with mild symptoms.

Mealie meal and sugar are in short supply across Masvingo forcing people to que across retailers trying to access these basic commodities. With most Zimbabweans already struggling to put food on the table, the COVID pandemic risks even wider and deeper desperation particularly due to the shortage of basic commodities. In a survey conducted across Spar Super market in Masvingo city Centre long ques were witnessed and crowds of people were seen with little observation of social distancing trying to access sugar and Mealie meal.

Chiredzi town residents have complained that the 150 percent rate hike approved by council is insensitive to people’s worsening earning capacity caused by the national lockdown which has since been extended indefinitely. The Ministry of Local Government last month approved Chiredzi Town Council $54 million budget for the 2020 financial year.

The budget relies on residents paying 150 percent more than they had been paying before for water, refuse collection and other council services.

About MACRAD

Masvingo Centre for Research Advocacy and Development (MACRAD) Trust is an independent Zimbabwean Civil Society institution committed to the development of socio-economic rights and agrarian systems that enhance equitable land rights and sustainable land uses throughout Zimbabwe. MACRAD interacts with various organizations and communities to assist them in developing capacity for policy formulation and research. It also facilitates policy dialogue among communities, governments, academics, civil society and others on land and agrarian development, especially the land rights of marginalized social groups. Masvingo Center for Research Advocacy and Community Development (MACRAD) is driven by a desire to contribute towards improved rural livelihoods that should lead to greater capacities for the rural poor to determine their own destinies and contribute towards national development. MACRAD’s approach entails encouraging continuous policy debates and refinement of policy. This is achieved through generation and provision of research based information, platforms for dialogue, creating and nurturing a policy community in Zimbabwe. The ambition of Masvingo Center for Research Advocacy and Community Development (MACRAD) is to provide leadership in socio-economic justice and land-agrarian policy processes, to become a Centre of Excellence and remain an independent and credible center for knowledge on social and economic justice.

Source: Masvingo Centre for Research Advocacy and Development (MACRAD) Trust