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COVID-19 Lockdown Restrictions A Thorn In The Flesh

By Talent Katsande

It never rains but pours for a Kuwadzana woman, Chelsea Musafare , aged (30), as she sat quietly at the corner of her shack with her head in her hands, fisting her hair, frustrated and defeated.

Tears rolled down her chicks as she thought of her two children sleeping hungry for the third night after competing with stray dogs in bins for bread cramps near the bakery but couldn’t find anything.

Slowly lifting her head, she thought of selling her only pair of shoes so that she can feed their empty stomach.

Due to lockdown restrictions which had been imposed to curb the global Covid 19 pandemic, all informal sectors were to remain closed until further announcements were done.

In an interview with this publication, Musafare added that most single mothers faced hardship for their families to survive due to Covid -19 lockdown restrictions which was announced on 31 March 2020 by the President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

She said this has been the reality for most Zimbabweans adhering to extremes in order to survive the indefinite lockdown as food grows scarce in their households.

Giving herself some encouragement, she stood by the door holding her pair of shoe thinking how her children were going to survive if she gets arrested.

Musafare added that the rate of prostitution increased as some women became desperate of money.

“This resulted in early child marriages as young girls were opting for marriages hoping for a better future while boys abused drugs.

“Teenage pregnancies resulted in many abortions as their husbands failed to take the responsibilities of a father.

“Water problem is another challenge that kuwadzana residents faced. Women and girls had to walk long distances to collect water for their family’s daily needs, carrying heavy vessels to find the nearest source”, Musafare explained.

She Highlighted that women were more affected by the Covid 19 pandemic more then men as they had to face the burden of feeding and taking care of the family by themselves

“…we could even see some decent women dressed for the night to look for men in the corners of the beer halls as this oldest profession have risk factors of spreading HIV and AIDS which will resulted in the increased number of new STIs cases in the country especially 15-49 age groups”, she said.

However the lockdown period was a privilege for some women to discover their skills such as baking, hairdressing and dressmaking.

Statistics shows that there is high number of pregnancies as some couples were engaged in activities of baby making which increased the rate of new born babies as some women began to have quality time with their husbands since travelling was limited.