No history of travel
Poverty-weary Zimbabwean youths are very bitter. The bitterness stems from lack of opportunities to lead minimally decent lives because of inept leadership. And the underperforming leaders further inflame this bitterness by bleeding the economy through looting and amassing obscene wealth.
However, the youths must not feel doomed — there’s hope as some of the enlightened leaders have noted this massive and endemic corruption.
When a problem is identified, it puts the leaders under an obligation to find solutions and we expect the State to do everything at its disposal to serve its citizens.
The Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander, General Philip Valerio Sibanda, recently said that the level of corruption displayed by some of the country’s leaders is tantamount to selling out.
“It’s unfortunate that after independence some of us went wayward and started corruptly amassing wealth…” he said.
The youths are trying very hard to make ends meet and are crying out for help daily.
“I graduated three years ago and have been unemployed ever since. With the cost of living increasing daily, my family can only afford one proper meal per week. I just don’t know what to do,” said Takudzwa from Epworth, scrounging for food.
I always get a huge lump in my throat and struggle to hold back tears when accosted by total strangers in the streets, like Takudzwa, who pour their hearts out to me.
Many more youths are in the same predicament as Takudzwa, if not worse. They’ve suffered for a long time at the hands of a callous, selfish and corrupt elite — their story is always the same: a painful tale of suffering.
The leaders should take time to look around the ghettos. When they do they will see many youths reduced to skeletons — crawling around aimlessly. If they look closely they will see pain and anger in the youths’ eyes. Hunger has wiped away the smiles that used to be a common feature on their faces and the laughter is gone, replaced by sadness.
Thanks to second-hand clothes bales, some can still dress somewhat decently.
The incompetent “chefs” are clueless and can’t do anything to pacify the poverty-stricken youths. They operate without goals or objectives and so have nothing to achieve but to just plunder the country’s resources.
With the August 1, 2018 shootings still fresh in their minds the youths say they are cowed into silence by the leadership they claim is always ready to spring into action using security forces to deal with them ruthlessly.
“The system is cunning and evil — it has turned some people into propagandists, political prostitutes and bootlickers. It doesn’t brook anyone questioning its actions,” said Alvin from Glen View.
However, this is the time for the leadership to begin to invest in the youths so as to bolster the future.
This is the time for the leadership to do away with selfish motives and boost the economy as well as strive for the improvement of living standards for the ordinary people.
This is also the time for all youths to join hands and speak with one voice. They should realise that they have the ultimate responsibility for their welfare and should be their own examples in emancipating themselves from bondage.
That the leadership has failed is not a secret, however, the youths must not feel cursed. They have to think intelligently and should not be afraid to rise against incompetence.
For a start, they can combine their efforts in seeking ways to implement simple but useful projects at community level and later on get involved in high-impact ones. Planning, organising, controlling, directing and staffing are crucial for the projects to succeed as thriving initiatives can actually act as springboards for future leadership.
Nothing is impossible. There is so much talent and potential among the youths.
These young people can get together and come up with innovative strategies — utilising their vast technical and intellectual abilities — for the country’s and their benefit.
Instead of spending lots of time bemoaning the failures of the government without taking action, they can actually prove their worth by making substantial contributions in research, agricultural and business development.
No history of travelIF YOU’VE read or listened to a news bulletin at any point over the past few days, you’ve probably heard these statements: “… they do not have a history of travel” and “medical authorities are still tracing sources of infections,” or their variations.
If you haven’t yet, you soon will, just pay attention when a detailed update on coronavirus (Covid-19) is being given.
Most of us scan through the words without giving them a second thought. As a result, we miss out, as we don’t realise their impact on our lives. These words have the power to push us into action and if ignored to humble us.
It is important that we interrogate these statements in our fight against the coronavirus.
When a positive person has no history of travel it means the infection is local and the source has to be traced.
The aim of contact tracing is to find close contacts or people who were within two metres of the infected person. If it’s untraceable, that spells disaster since nothing will be done to prevent onward transmission.
The positive cases that we are used to are those of returning residents and those linked to known sources. Waking up to cases whose source of infection is not traceable is a cause for great concern.
To control the spread of coronavirus, we need to break the chain of human-to-human transmission.
When systematically applied, contact tracing will break the chains of transmission and is thus an essential method for controlling the virus, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO.)
So far, the majority of cases are those of returnees, but the increasing number of local infections is worrying and urgent action needs to be taken. However, determining whom an infected person has been in contact with is difficult.
Speaking to the media recently, the Zimbabwe Medical Association said mystery infections were worrisome as contact tracing was difficult and infections could quickly multiply unchecked in communities.
Indeed, these infections are a pain in the neck since no one knows where to start and which direction to take. For argument’s sake, say a positive person infects people at Mbare Musika. Those infected go back to their residential areas where they will attend church, queue for basic foodstuffs, transport and so on — infecting many more people.
This reads more like a horror script and should serve as a wake-up call to all of us.
Measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic are therefore crucial as well as necessary precautions to protect us all the time. The importance of reporting to authorities all returnees who do not go through proper procedures cannot be overemphasised.
There must be some form of surveillance of illegal returnees, truck drivers and smuggling syndicates. The government should carry out its promise to tighten security at the quarantine centres as well as improve conditions there to prevent people from escaping. Lockdown regulations have to be observed and there shouldn’t be any room for complacency. We should also follow WHO recommendations religiously.
We can reduce our chances of being infected or spreading Covid-19 by taking some simple precautions:
n Regularly and thoroughly sanitise your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
n Maintain at least one metre social distance.
n Avoid crowded places.
n Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
n Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash your hands.
n Stay home and self-isolate even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover.
n If you need to leave your house, wear a mask to avoid infecting others.
n If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.
n Keep up to date with the latest information from trusted sources, such as WHO or your local and national health authorities.