It’s a New Year, a new season and I choose to be happy despite all the sadness around us.
Basically, I have good news and bad news but let me start with the former.
The positive update is that we are having a good rainy season in Zimbabwe and being a farmer, I couldn’t be happier.
Our maize crop is thriving and a bumper harvest is already guaranteed. Our local dam, which dried up in June last year resulting in serious water challenges, is now full to capacity and spilling. The situation is the same all over the country as most, if not all farmers are looking forward to a good agricultural season.
A bumper harvest thus means there will be lots of sadza (paletshe) this year for us sadza eaters (a street name for Zimbos since sadza is our stable food). And as they say, it’s better to hustle for relish than for both, as was the case this past year when there was a severe mealie meal shortage.
I am personally over the moon because we planted our maize crop at different times, with the first crop planted soon after the first rains in October now ready for harvest.
Looking at the crops and the lush green environment around our farm gives that refreshing, positive feeling that makes one forget about all the other problems we are faced with as a country and indeed the entire universe.
Now for the unavoidable bad news.
Covid-19 continues to wreck havoc. Five days into the New Year, the country went back on lockdown as a way to curb the spread of the virus seeing that daily infections were on the rise.
Zimbabwe now records an average of 800 cases daily, with more than 10 people dying every day due to the pandemic.
On Monday, 820 cases were recorded while 21 people died of Coronavirus. As of the same day, Zimbabwe had 22, 297 cases, 13, 212 recoveries, and 528 deaths.
While the government is doing what it reckons to be the best for the masses, the sad reality is that a lockdown brings a lot of untold suffering, especially considering the criminally high unemployment rate of 80 percent.
The majority of Zimbos are in the informal sector and self-employed, so being on a lockdown means no income. One can only imagine how people are surviving out there.
Still on Covid-19, at the start of the week government announced that bereaved families will no longer be allowed to take a body to lie in state at the home of the deceased as has been the practice. This they reasoned is another way to curb the spread of the virus.
What this means is that bodies will now be taken from a funeral parlour straight to the place of burial without anybody viewing.
This will no doubt cause more grief and anguish as these practices have been part of our culture since time immemorial.