Monday, September 20, 2021

Lockdown extension has ruined us, mahwindi complain

                                               Exor Masvingo on the fourth day of the lockdown
TellZim Reporter

TellZim today spoke to five touts
(mahwindi) who used to make a living loading pirate taxis at Exor and at N.
Richards Josiah Tongogara Avenue in Masvingo, and they complained that the
extension of the national lockdown by a further 14 days was insensitive.

After the lockdown extension was announced yesterday, touts and sex workers immediately became a butt of social media jokes as they constitute probably the most hard-hit informal hustle.

“If you contract coronavirus, you
die in a few days or you recover after some few weeks and go back to normal
life. But if you don’t work, you are as good as dead. Without money to pay bills, how do you lead a normal life?” said one of them, speaking on condition that
his name is not revealed.

Another one said there was no way
his family will be able to pay rent for the month of May.
“Life is now upside down. The
landlord still needs his money but I will not be able to raise it. Government
should have been more sensitive to vulnerable groups like us. You know, the
situation was already bad even before the lockdown because the Zupco vehicles
took away much of our jobs,” he said.
Asked if why they had not
registered for the government’s social welfare grants for people considered to
be the poorest, another tout said information about the process was sketchy.
“Many government programmes
involving the public are publicised a lot, but this one was not. But even if we
had learnt about it on time and through official channels, would we have
managed to register given the restrictions on movement?
“The registration was supposed to
be publicised enough and it was supposed to be done at community halls. We
heard that much of the processes were politicised and if you were not in ruling party structures, you had very little chance of succeeding,”
he said.

TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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