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 2nd of April 2020:
Masvingo – By 1000 hours community members who were caught moving around Siski shops, Pangoline and the Central Business District were beaten. Community members were trying to purchase mealie-meal from either Metro Pitch, OK Mart or Ok and this exposed them to the risk of being beaten. At around 1330 hours, Riot Police moved around Majange area, warning community members to stay in their homes and threatening them with violence. At around 1600 hours, the police violently dispersed Ward 3 community members who were gathering at Gomba Shopping centre.
Chiredzi – Community members in Tsovani stayed in their homes. However, yesterday, community members spent most of their time trying to access cheaper mealie-meal at Seventh Day Adventist Primary in Ward 8 and Chiredzi Government Secondary School in Ward 7. At around 1500 hours, at least 100 community members were at Chiredzi Government Secondary School. The distribution process at these two centres was largely on partisan basis, despite the fact that the local Member of Parliament Mr. Farai Musikavanhu had purchased the mealie-meal from N.Richards Chiredzi on the pretext that people Chiredzi West constituency would then buy from their local ward leaders. This would reduce stampede at N.Richards Chiredzi. The MP however instructed ZANU PF chairpersons to compile names for everyone who needed mealie-meal. Rodrick Vhurepi (ZANU PF Chairperson for Ward 7) and another ZANU PF member identified as Makuvaza clandestinely compiled names of known ZANU PF supporters in Ward 7. A group of ZANU PF leadership identified as Bhinga, Mai Muvingi, Mai Nyamhere and Mai Chimombe also compiled names of known ZANU PF supporters in Ward 8. Bhinga openly told community members at Seventh Day Adventist Primary that they were only writing names of those who are registered within ZANU PF cell structures. Those who managed through the process were then required to pay ZWL$70.00 per 10kgs of mealie-meal to a Chiredzi West constituency merchant number or pay cash to the respective ZANU PF leaders.
Mudzi – Community members in Mudzi Ward 1 stayed in their homes today. They however expressed concern over the number of foreigners passing through undesignated entry points along Nyamapanda border. Yesterday, a group of approximately 20 people were spotted crossing into Zimbabwe through Section 1 and Section areas. Community members were also expressing fear of the fact that Chief Goronga called for a traditional court scheduled for Sunday the 5th of April at his homestead in Tsonga Village.
Norton – Community members in Norton stayed in their homes today. Police moved around Katanga beating people who were seen loitering in groups of more than two people.
Marondera – Community members in Ward 14 and ward 16 stayed in their homes today. Police were monitoring the movement of people at Chipitiri and Mhizha business centres.
Gutu – Gutu rural hospital was turning away patients, stating that they are attending to critically sick patients and expecting mothers only. Community members in Mupandawana Growth Point stayed in their homes. Only four shops namely Spar, N. Richards, Chifamba and Mapondera opened today.
Bikita – Community members in ward 6 and ward 15 stayed in their homes. However, communities expressed concern over community members who are brewing opaque beer in Tafa, Dzingirai and Muduma villages where people are drinking beer in groups, everyday as if everything was normal. Most bars at Silveira, Mandadzaka, Maregere were selling beer from their backdoors. Shops in Bikita have also hiked their prices for basic goods. For instance, a 2kg of sugar which was ZWL$70.00 is now being charged ZWL$110.00 and a pack of dry kapenta which was ZWL$15.00 is now ZWL$35.00.
Nyanga- community members in Ward 15 stayed in their homes. All shops at Tombo business centre were closed and there was no transport operating in the area.
Zaka – Community members from Ward 19 Jerere stayed in their homes. However, thieves attempted to break into two bars last night. They attempted to steal from Zingoni and Mureyi bars, both of which are at Jerera Growth Point. They however failed to gain entry t due to burglar bars