Villagers urge govt intervention as invaders plunder amacimbi during lockdown

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By Mbekezeli Ncube

VILLAGERS in Filabusi, Matabeleland South are appealing for government intervention in stopping the influx of outsiders coming to harvest the mopane worm, commonly known as amacimbi in their area.

Even the national lockdown declared by government against the spread of coronavirus has not stopped the movement of people coming to pick the delicacy.

Mopane worms have emerged in parts of Filabusi in swarms, leaving locals apprehensive about the possibility of catching coronavirus from outsiders.

Villagers in the area say there has been a lot of the mopane worm this season as compared to years before.

This has seen hundreds of locals throng the area in disregard of government’s 21-day national lockdown order to minimise the spread of Covid-19.

Villagers in Godlwayo area in Filabusi, who have been up in arms over the invasion of their land by outsiders seeking to harvest the delicacy for commercial purposes, feel the practice was even more unwelcome now given the coronavirus scare.

Godlwayo Community Development chairperson Nkululeko Tshuma (pictured below) said villagers were further angered by that the invaders now camped in the bushes within their neighbourhood also causing hygiene fears.

“These people come from as far as Masvingo and Chinhoyi to harvest mopane worms here,” he said.

“I’m not saying they are not supposed to be here, but we are all wondering how they managed to get to this place while government banned all travel.

“Some of them are now camped here, no toilets and no water and locals are left vulnerable to coronavirus outbreak and other deadly diseases,” said Tshuma.