desperate people from rural communities in the southern parts of the country
are defying the lockdown by flocking to the forests of Gwanda district to harvest mopani worms, TellZim can report
from Lutumba in Beitbridge as well as some parts of Mberengwa, Chikombedzi,
Mwenezi, West Nicolson and Gwanda district find their way into the
forests in search of the treasured worms despite the national lockdown which has since been extended twice.
transport operators use illicit dusty tracks to ferry the worm hunters
and avoid the obvious routes for fear of police roadblocks, sources say.
go to Gwanda between every December and April to harvest madora and this
year should not be different. If we are to think about the lockdown, how do we
have extended to lockdown without giving as social grants so we cannot help it.
You can’t expect us to remain indoors hoping that someone will bring us some
food to eat,” said one woman who had just returned from one of her numerous
sources said the deployment of police and soldiers to stop unsanctioned
movement in the areas was not helping much.
are many people who are working all the time in the forests of Gwanda. Some go as traders selling food and drinks to the worm catchers so there is a lot of
activity in the bush. Our main problem is that water is scarce and we often drink
from unprotected sources,” said the source.
a bucket full of Mopani worms now trading between 350 to 500 South African
rands, the Mopani catchers say they cannot let go of their only opportunity to
make money in a troubled economy.