By Staff Reporter
SOME residents of Kadoma were Sunday severely assaulted by soldiers ahead of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s tour of the town’s residential areas to assess compliance with the 21-day lockdown meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.
On Sunday, Mnangagwa, accompanied by the First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, toured the towns of Norton, Chegutu, Kadoma and Kwekwe in what his office said was an assessment of how the people were complying with the government’s 21-day directive to stay at home.
However, in Kadoma, armed soldiers are reported to have assaulted scores of residents ahead of Mnangagwa’s visit to give the president an impression that the people were complying with the order.
Kadoma Central MP, Muchineripi Chinyaganya confirmed the incident.
“Soldiers here beat up people early in the morning. As early as 6 am they were in the streets beating anyone found outdoors as they wanted to make sure that the roads were empty before the president came. It would give a picture that people are complying with the lockdown,” he said.
Chinyaganya said most residents were on the streets early in the morning as they sought to buy basic commodities from their nearest shops.
According to the MP, citizens are allowed to leave their homes until 12 noon to purchase basic commodities.
“However, the army came in when people were going to fetch water from boreholes and others to buy foodstuffs from the local shops,” he said.
When Mnangagwa passed through, the majority of the residents were already indoors as they feared more reprisals from the army.
Meanwhile, in Amaveni, Kwekwe, Mnangagwa had to stop his winding motorcade after he came across a man who could not walk through disability.
After a brief chat with the man, Mnangagwa produced a wad of US$100 notes and handed them to him. The man, only identified as Dexter, also asked Mnangagwa for a wheelchair and the president promised to provide him with one.
The wheelchair was delivered a few hours later to Dexter by Mnangagwa’s aides.