By Ndafadza Madanha
RESIDENTS of Bulawayo have in the past week largely adhered to the 21 day national lockdown announced by President ED Mnangagwa in a bid to combat the Covid 19 pandemic.
According to Bulawayo Provincial Minister Cde Judith Ncube the first week of the lockdown went on well though vendors have requested they be allowed to operate under strict supervision.
"In Bulawayo the lockdown is in shape except for a few individuals in the western suburbs areas. The challenge is on those in vegetable vending. If the chain of production is allowed to deliver to the supermarkets and yet it’s difficult for the vendors to get into the city centre they feel a different approach can be used than to have a complete shutdown. They suggest a closely monitored and controlled approach can work out for them. Some are even suggesting that may be done on a rotational basis".
She said in accordance with the directive issued by President Mnangagwa to ensure essential commodities in particular mealie meal are available to the people, her office was working with millers to ensure even distribution in the city.
Cde Ncube said more needs to be done to raise awareness on the need for people to maintain social distancing and avoid loitering around in the suburbs during the lock-down.
"On maize meal, we have come up with a strategy to have different millers to deliver to different shops in all the wards. This is to avoid people flooding the city centre in search of mealie-meal which results in people failing to observe social distancing. We need to do more though on educating the people through awareness campaigns.
In the town-ships, you can find people in groups hence there is need to educate the public".
She said a number of companies in the city had rallied behind President Mnangagwa's call to support the fight against the spread of Covid19 by producing masks and sanitizers.