MACRAD today 27 May 2020 continues to monitor how citizens in Masvingo are responding to COVID19 a world pandemic. It has reported that chaos erupted at the Masvingo Teachers’ College quarantine center after close to 12 samples tested positive of the covid-19 virus. Sources within the President’s Office said on Wednesday that 12 deportees from South Africa and Botswana who are quarantined at Masvingo Teachers’ College yesterday tested positive to COVID-19. The centre, Masvingo Teachers’ College, is about 12km from the city and also hosts Great Zimbabwe University. Of the 12 who reportedly initially tested positive to the deadly COVID-19 virus, six are said to have arrived from South Africa while the remaining came from Botswana. The Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), who usually issue out timeous updates on COVID-19, yesterday were conspicuous by their silence, with sources saying the ministry was in panic mode. A MoHCC source based in Masvingo – who preferred anonymity for fear of reprisals – painted a bleak picture of the quarantine centre: “There is nothing right at Masvingo Teachers’ College COVID-19 quarantine centre. “Quarantined returnees from neighbouring South Africa and Botswana go about without personal protective equipment – not even face masks.” As of yesterday, nothing had reportedly been done to ensure that the 12 who initially tested positive to the virus were treated. Currently, Zimbabwe has 63 positive cases of COVID-19, and if the latest event in Masvingo is confirmed, the figure of COVID-19 positive cases would rise to 75. “It’s sad that the MoHCC officials appear not to be adequately paying attention to the virus. “How can people at an isolation or quarantine centre be allowed to move around, as we are seeing here, without putting on face masks,” queried a resident from nearby Rujeko suburb. More so, 19 returnees have escaped from Beitbridge and 5 from Chiredzi (only 2 have so far been captured) while a combined 27 returnees had by last week, escaped from the NSSA Hotel quarantine centre since it started operating.

Telecoms giant Econet Masvingo branch has boosted the fight against Covid-19 in Masvingo by donating personal protective equipment (PPE’s) worth over $160 000 to the Provincial Covid-19 taskforce. The money was raised by the public after an appeal by Econet and was channeled through Econet’s Higherlife Foundation. The equipment including PVC Overalls, PVC Over Shoes, PVC Gloves, Pairs of Goggles, Face Masks, latex gloves and disposable surgical masks were handed over to the provincial Covid-19 taskforce chairperson and Resident Minister, Ezra Chadzamira today at his Benjamin Burombo offices by Econet Masvingo general manager Kudzai Mauwa. Members of the taskforce were also present at the handover and the equipment will be given to Rujeko Clinic isolation centre. Minister of state for Masvingo province Chadzamira applauded Econet for mobilising the donations and the general public for donating towards the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

About MACRAD

Masvingo Centre for Research Advocacy and Development (MACRAD) Trust is an independent Zimbabwean Community Based 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 has worked with citizens in resettlements areas around Masvingo Province on civic and voter education to ensure their voices are heard. 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