AS the novel coronavirus continues to spread rapidly across the country, a number of former and current national senior men’s football players are rallying together to raise resources to help government fight the pandemic.
BY HENRY MHARA
Through a social media challenge, the footballers are encouraging each other to make donations towards acquiring at least one million face masks and sanitisers that will be distributed in the country to help stop the spread of the virus.
Coronavirus is spreading fast in the country and by yesterday there were 23 confirmed cases with three people succumbing to the disease.
Globally, more than two million people have been infected, with over 137 000 people dead.
The former and current Warriors stars have decided to do their bit to help stop the spread of the virus in Zimbabwe, a country with an ailing health system.
Former Warriors captain Esrom Nyandoro has already donated towards the initiative.
“I support one million face masks and sanitisers for Zimbabwe donation challenge. Coronavirus is real and it’s killing people. I would like to challenge a few guys to make their contributions too,” Nyandoro said before picking Richard Choruma, Charles Mhlauri, Lovejoy Mvududu, Peter Ndlovu and Muzondiwa Mugadza to also make their contributions.
“It’s so sad that we don’t have enough equipment and resources to treat and prevent the spread of coronavirus. I have played my part, please do play yours. Please stay at home and be safe. Together we can,” added Nyandoro.
Another former Warriors skipper Willard Katsande also made a passionate plea to his Warriors mates after he also made his own donation.
“Me and you we have a role to play to save lives in our nation,” the Kaizer Chiefs hard man said.
“I urge everybody in the country to play a part. I’m supporting one million face masks and sanitisers for Zimbabwe donation challenge,” he added before nominating club mate Khama Billiat, and former Wariors teammates Onismor Bhasera, Kuda Mahachi and Knox Mutizwa to accept the challenge.
“I challenge you guys to donate since I have already done my donation. Together we can beat this virus.”
Mutizwa quickly accepted the challenge.
“The coronavirus pandemic has a damaging effect on our country and the world at large. We can all play an active role in reducing the impact of this unfortunate occurrence. I support the one million face masks and sanitisers for Zimbabwe donation challenge and I have made my donation to support our nation.”
He called on his Warriors teammates Marvelous Nakamba, Devine Lunga, Danny Phiri and Teenage Hadebe to take part in the noble challenge by also donating.
Human Rights activist Vimbai Musvaburi and former Miss Zimbabwe Samantha Tshuma created the#1millionmasksandsanitizers4Zim and they said many footballers were warming up to the idea.
“We are raising money to buy one million masks and sanitisers. Our main aim is to supply one million Zimbabweans with these necessities,” Musvaburi said.
“What we have done is to involve footballers and they have received the idea very well.”
She confirmed that the likes of Katsande, Nakamba, Mahachi and Nyandoro had pledged their support.
“Some of the players obviously have some special requests to do with their donations. For example, Katsande wants his masks to be donated in his rural home in Mutoko. We accept that and it’s understandable because he wants his people to benefit.”
She said they came up with the idea after realising that many Zimbabweans were struggling to access the masks and sanitisers, basic things needed to fight the spread of the virus.
“Many people are struggling to get food. Most of the families are feeding off a dollar and obviously can’t afford these necessities. They can’t even afford soap to wash their hands, what more of sanitisers?
“Zimbabwe is big but we can assure you that the general Zimbabwean is going to receive the masks. We will make sure that the masks reach all the parts of the country. Each place and community has its leaders like the chiefs and headmen so we will use them to distribute the donations. We will try to be as transparent as possible. We are not encouraging people to donate money, but masks and sanitisers. We want them to pay directly to the service providers,” added Musvaburi