AUTHORITIES in Chikomba district at the weekend apprehended two returnees from South Africa who entered the country illegally in breach of COVID-19 safety measures, while four others were nabbed in Umzingwane, Matabeleland South province, on Wednesday last week after skipping the border to attend a funeral.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA/NQOBANI NDLOVU
The two, in Chikomba, who are now quarantined at St Francis of Assisi High School, were nabbed after villagers notified authorities about their unusual return to the area.
Chikomba district development co-ordinator (DDC) Michael Mariga refused to comment on the matter and referred all questions to the provincial development co-odinator, Tavabarira Kutamahufa, who confirmed the development, though he could not divulge much detail.
“The best person to talk to on the matter is the DDC since he is the one on the ground. However, there are two returnees who were taken to St Francis of Assisi, an isolation centre in the area,” he said.
Last week, the whole central Chivhu town was fumigated as the fight against COVID-19 intensifies.
The four South Africa-based Zimbabweans who illegally skipped the border to attend a funeral in Umzingwane were quarantined after the community alerted authorities.
“Umzingwane district yesterday (Wednesday) received four people who illegally sneaked into the country to attend a funeral. They were reported by the community and are now quarantined at Esikhoveni Training Institute. The community took responsibility for its own safety,” Information permanent secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana said on Thursday.
Zimbabwe’s porous border with South Africa has been a cause for concern, with many Zimbabweans using illegal entry points to return home as they evade the mandatory 21-day quarantine period, thereby exposing people to the deadly virus.
Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa last week encouraged traditional leaders to mobilise their subjects to report returnees who abscond from quarantine centres.