Soldiers lock down Chivhu ahead of minister’s visit


SOLDIERS in Chivhu on Wednesday tightened lockdown measures and banned residents from entering the central business district ahead of Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister Aplonia Munzverengi’s visit to the transit town.

By Miriam Mangwaya

Munzverengi visited Chivhu General Hospital, Range Clinic and Beatrice District Hospital to assess the health institutions’ preparedness to deal with coronavirus cases.

On Tuesday night, soldiers moved around Chivhu’s Northwood, Skyview, Highview and Westwood suburbs in a truck warning residents to take the lockdown seriously and avoid getting into town.

Zimbabwe today is on day 18 of lockdown and has 23 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including three deaths and one recovery. A senior government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told NewsDay that the security officers were barring people from getting into town because of the minister’s scheduled visit.

But residents ignored the warnings and formed winding queues for mealie-meal at supermarkets
Chivhu Residents and Ratepayers Alliance chairperson Collen Zvarevashe said banning people from getting into town was a violation of human rights which was aimed at giving the government a false impression that all was well with the local residents, yet they were suffering from hunger.

“Government ministers are the policymakers, therefore, it is important for them to get a clear picture of what is happening on the ground in communities.

“Banning people to get into town will give the minister a wrong impression, considering that each day; people congest some supermarkets in search of mealie-meal. Do people stop eating because a minister is visiting their town?” Zvarevashe asked.