By Zvikomborero Parafini
Hundreds of beneficiaries of international remittance were stranded yesterday after only one outlet was open for them to collect their monies and get ready for the lockdown which started today.
The lockdown was announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last Friday to help curb the spread of the fast spreading coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Zimbabwe has officially recorded seven cases and one death.
The beneficiaries were in a long winding queue hoping to get their monies on time to make necessary preparations for the lockdown.
In an interview with H-Metro, one of the senior citizens said the queues were moving very slowly but he was determined to secure the money as he was uncertain whether the lockdown is going to last 21 days only or it is going to be extended.
“It’s not clear whether the lockdown will last for 21 days only or its going to be extended so I need to collect the money today, my daughter who sent the money from China has been in lockdown since January so I am worried and need to prepare,” he said.
When asked if he was aware that President Mnangagwa said all critical services will be open, food and medicine stores and there was no need for hoarding he said,
“As you may be aware, older people are most likely to acquire this disease because their immune systems are compromised due to old age, I will not risk going out during this period so I need to get my money today.”
The people intending to get their monies were seen standing in groups, close to each other without observing the personal distancing requirements of two meters.
One Tirivanhu Tigere said they were standing close to each other because ‘no-one really believes that CVID-19 is in Zimbabwe.
“The question would be is it really there in Zimbabwe because it was there, tingadai takapera tese kufa,” he answered.
Others belonged to different school of thought as they were seen putting on gloves and face masks and observing personal distancing.
“I want the money but I’m also concerned about my health, that’s why I am trying to protect myself by putting on these gloves and face mask, if I had a choice I would stay at home, manje if I don’t collect the money today, after three weeks inenge yadzoserwa kwayakabva.”
Others said they needed the money in order to travel and self-isolate in the rural areas as they saw it cheaper.
“The cost of living in the city is high and I think basic goods will cost even more during the lockdown and as such, my family and I are travelling to the rural areas for the 21 days, mari yatumirwa namukoma from the States kuti tikwanise kutenga grocery ratichanodya, uye tozosiirawo vanogarako after 21 days kana takudzoka kumabasa,” said another beneficiary who spoke on anonymity.
Mnangagwa on his Nation Address last Friday gave a stern warning to service providers who will want to take advantage of the situation in the country and charge for their goods and service exorbitantly, that they will be met by the strong arm of the law. H Metro