Heal Zimbabwe’s Early Warning and Early Response Situation Room is monitoring how communities are reacting to the national lockdown which was announced by the President on the 27th of March, 2020. Below are some of the reactions recorded today, the 31st of March 2020:
Chipinge South – It is business as usual for community members in Ward 28 as one of the Village Head’s assistant summoned community members to bring ZWL$5.00 per household to Village Head’s Kunemabhebhe’s homestead. He moved around the ward announcing that these contributions will be used to consult spirit mediums on why the rains have not fallen in the area. This is likely to result in a community meeting to mobilize all the necessary resources. Mabee Clinic is also returning patients home, citing that they do not have protective clothes. The clinic highlighted that it is only assisting those that are chronically sick.
Bikita – Community members from Ward 15 stayed in their homes, whilst in Ward 10 most community members have carried on with their farming activities. At Nyika Growth Point, vendors were selling mealie-meal at US$7.00 per 10kgs, taking advantage of the fact that most stores are closed. Mandara Clinic in Ward 9 was also sending patients away, stating that they cannot treat anyone since they did not have protective clothes at the clinic.
Muzarabani – Community members around Muzarabani Township carried on with their day to day business. Most shops were open today, including vendors who were selling fast foods, drinks and buns in the open. None of the flea markets were open. These were cautioned by Muzarabani Police Station. Community members in ward 10 largely stayed in their homes. However, some community members were drinking opaque beer in groups at Dannie Marizani and Amai Pardon’s homesteads in Musakanyi village. Even the Ward Councillor Mr. Mudonhi was drinking beer at Amai Pardon at around 1900 hours. All shops at St Albert’s were closed.
Mutasa – Community members from Ward 16, Ward 11, Ward 12 and Ward 24 stayed in their homes. Councilors and traditional leaders in these two wards warned their members not to loiter around. Most shops in the two wards were closed, and the few that were opened had sanitizers and detergents at their door steps. However, at Sheeba Estate mill which processes timber called all its workers for work. The mill operates day and night. Sheeba Estates is in Ward 18.
Gweru – At around 09:00 am, the Police in the Central Business District were sending people back to their homes. There was a road block screening people who would enter into the CBD and those who would not at AMTEC. This made it difficult for citizens who wanted to purchase mealie-meal from DCK shop. Most people who were sent back to their homes were from Athlone suburb. The police later changed in the afternoon, and started allowing people to buy their groceries and return to their homes. The police however, highlighted that they would beat people who will be loitering in town.
Mutoko – Community members from ward 29 stayed in their homes. Most shops at Nharire shopping centre were opened. However, this centre is usually not busy. Police and soldiers are moving around ward 20, Mutoko centre. Yesterday, some vendors had arranged their wares at the centre and they were peacefully told to close by the police. They never returned even today. Only two shops were open, TM and Chiwaramakanda.
Buhera South – Community members in ward 30 stayed in their homes. They are avoiding crowds and washing their hands regularly. However, in Ward 33 – Birchenough Bridge, community members who were gathering at Birchenough bridge shopping centre were violently dispersed by ZRP Support Unit at around 10am. Two female vendors, a male who operates a cart, and another man fell victims to the violence. The two female vendors had baskets full of tomatoes and they thought they would be able to clear them. Yesterday, people had defied the orders to stay at home, and this gave the two women hope that today they will be able to sell their stocks.
Shamva – Community members in Ward 7 stayed in their homes and to make all purchases between 0700 and 12pm. Police from Shamva however dispersed people who were gathering at Bradley shops at around 1300hrs.
Gutu – Almost half of the community members in Ward 2 away from Chiguhune shopping centre defied the order to stay at home. Almost 30 people went and spend time drinking opaque beer at Musasira’s homestead in Chawira, stating that they will not die from the virus. Most shops at Chiguhune were open, but people did not gather since the police from Chiguhune Police Base kept moving around and ensuring that people do not congregate in groups.
Banket – It was business as usual in Kuwadzana, with most vendors displaying their wares. Police however managed to disperse community members back to their homes at around 1600Hrs.Bar operators were selling beer from the back of their bars. However, police managed to intervene and forced the operators to stop. All shops opened from 0800 to 1500 hours.
Zvimba – Community members from ward 20 stayed in their homes. However, at Mapinga shopping centre all shops were open including a bar. Police came at around 1600hrs and instructed all bars and shops to close.
Magunje – Community members in Nyamupfukudza village, Ward 16 Magunje stayed in their homes. However, some community members were gathered at Taulo and Nyamupfukudza homesteads drinking opaque beer in groups as if everything was normal. All shops at Nyamupfukudza were closed. However, Nyamupfukudza Bar and Kaparangwe Bar at Nyamupfukudza business centre was open at around 1935 hours.
Zvishavane – Community members in Zvishavane town stayed in their homes. A few who went into town to purchase groceries and do other businesses were being intimidated by police. At around 1200, the police heavily assaulted people at ZB Bank. The police were also searching cars with more that 2 people. Yesterday, the police also assaulted people who were at Mimosa Bus Stop, next to Anglican Church.
Source: Heal Zimbabwe