Villages in Gutu rural adhere to lockdown regulations

Villagers gather food Jan. 15 at a distribution point near Harare, Zimbabwe. With poverty on the rise and a drought compounding Zimbabwe's problems, people are struggling to make ends meet and the poor are becoming poorer, church workers said. (CNS photo/Aaron Ufumeli, EPA) See ZIMBABWE-POVERTY-PROBLEMS Jan. 29, 2016.

Life before and during the COVID-19 lockdown in rural areas has given us an insight into the impact of this global pandemic in communities miles away from where the virus originated.

Our Masvingo crew visited Zvenhidza in Gutu, the same village they visited during Christmas to compare life before and the lockdown period. Villages in gutu rural adhere to lockdown regulationsZvenhidza village in rural Masvingo was gleeful when this news crew visited during last year’s Christmas holiday.
A visit there was characterized by a warm welcome, hugs and sharing of drinks with the locals.

Upsound Christmas (10 seconds)
Fast forward four months later, add a global pandemic and the pathways here and common gathering points have become a duplication of some of the worlds renowned cities that are now…deserted.

There is no welcoming noise from the growth point radios, neither is there a welcoming party and some traditional brew to share – everyone is staying home and maintaining their distance.

They are wary of visitors from outside the village borders.
“Maihwe, mbuya mhanyai nemvura nesipo , ne bucket kunevanzi. VaMuzararikwa betserayi mbuya yangu iuye nemvura nesipo,’ says Mambariza of Zvenhidza village
For a disease they have only heard about through the media, the villagers are leaving nothing to chance to protect themselves.
Even in these remote villages, elbow greetings and social distancing are trending.

“Takanzwa zvichinzi corona pa virus inouraya , zvakanzi kugeza mumaoko munoisa sipo hamheno kuda surf here . Asi misamhorosana Hanzi musamhorosana munongogedebhhurana kungodai, “ says Mambariza.
Mambariza as we witnessed during our visit on Christmas Day, derived pleasure in sharing a drink with fellow villagers, but he is not taking chances and vows he will stay put.

“Ndingade doro kudarika hupenyu here, Ndomborisiya. Asi kana zvati nyare nyare huh unoona makadi rinodi nhasi ndichivhunza doro,“ said another
For now, Mambariza’s only trips will be to the grazing pastures with his goats and cattle.

The call for social distancing has been taken seriously in these parts of Gutu as we find out from Mambariza’s fellow villagers.
News on the impact of COVID-19 in nations most affected has also reached these parts.

“vanhu varikutotenda kuti iriko nekuti tikunzwawo kuti kune dzimwe nyika inouraya vanhu”….2…“kumunda tinongoinda hedu asi tichidzoka pamba, hatiende kumaraini”…3…“Isu tirikutenda hurumende nezvayakaita kuti vanhu vaparadzane “ vanemashavi ekufamba tikuti fambira kumusha kwako usauya kumba kwangu.”

The pathways are deserted as we move from one village to the next, save for the little boys herding cattle.
But they too tell us of the stern warnings they have been given by their elders on the need to suspend any visits to fellow villagers.

“ takanzi tisanokwate “ say small village boys herding cattle.
Life in these parts of the country is punctuated by socialisation but it looks like it might be sometime before a complete welcoming party receives visitors and patrons to this area.

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