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It’s a hard knock life

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The above poster caught my attention as I queued patiently for fuel early on Tuesday morning.

I had woken up at 5am because more sleep could have resulted in being at the tail of the queue and failing to get diesel.

Being an early bird paid off as I only found five cars waiting.

So I sat and waited for a good two hours as the filling station only opened at 7am.

While we are used to such a life of queuing for fuel, it is never a pleasant activity as it is one of the many signs of a failed economy.

Fuel in Zimbabwe is expensive compared to our neighbouring countries as the current price is almost equivalent to P14 a litre and is constantly going up and thus one would expect improved supplies, but is it completely the opposite.

Anyway back to the poster. It actually did not surprise me that suicide cases are on the rise as the bleak situation here can really drive people into depression.

According to the story, 1, 641 took their lives in 2018 while 142 had already committed suicide in the first three months of 2019.

We have had to drastically adjust our lives as the cost of living continues to go up while incomes get eroded on a daily basis.

As I have written in previous columns, so many of us no longer have the luxury of three meals a day. We now have brunch and supper, drink water and go to bed.

For some, this and other challenges we are faced with can be a recipe for depression and disaster.

One of my aunts, who is a civil servant and a single parent, almost broke down when schools opened in January as ends refused to meet.

Fees at government secondary schools and universities are now more than salaries of most civil servants and for those with two or three school going children like my aunt, it means digging deep into pockets which are already empty.

Where does one get ZWL$5, 500 (about P2, 300) for school fees excluding other additional costs when they earn less than that?

These are scenarios that can drive people into hopelessness because here I am talking of school fees and not other costs such as rentals and utility bills.

When schools opened, it was reported that some teachers in areas where there were mopane worms were nowhere to be seen in class as they had joined those harvesting the worms for selling.

And honestly, who can blame them – desperate times call for desperate measures!

On a different note, cracks seem to be widening in the ruling Zanu PF Party.

On Monday, youth league leaders called for a presser where they accused one of Vice President Constatino Chiwenga’s allies, Kudakwashe Tagwirei of corruption and looting state resources.

The man has a vast business empire and literally controls the fuel sector.

This was seen as an indirect attack on the VP and in our local politics is a clear indication that all is not well at the top.

Let their fights begin!

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Block 8 nurse challenges Covid-19 test results

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A nurse who allegedly tested positive of Covid-19 during the emergency parliament session has given the Ministry of Health and Wellness up to next week Tuesday to respond to his legal demands as he believes that the test results were fake.

The victim, Morobi Dinao, a nurse at Block 8 Gaborone has made demands that the ministry give him signed results by the person who carried out the laboratory tests.

Dinao was diagnosed at a special parliament sitting in April, his supposed positive results leading to all MPs and those who attended the session to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

According to legal documents from Ndadi law firm, the 37-year-old nurse was admitted at Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital on the 9th of April after he was told he tested positive.

On the 13th he demanded to see his results but was sent from pillar to post and the hospital could not give him the results.

He kept on demanding his results and on the 19th of April he was shown the results through his glass door from outside by one Dr Feledi.

Dinao allegedly asked for a copy of the results but the Doctor said he would revert to him after consulting with his superiors.

He was given his results when he was discharged on the 24th of April.

There was no explanation of the results and the document was also not signed hence the suspicion that they were not authentic.

Some of the things that made him suspicious, he says, are that the specimen submission form that carries his results is markedly from the one he completed on the day of tests.

He says the form does not have the laboratory personnel signature portion yet the one he duly completed had it.

The demands are that MOH should give an account of the delay of initial results.

Dinao’s lawyer, Uyapo Ndadi, told The Voice Online that they are awaiting response to their client’s demands before they can take the next step.

“I do not understand how a doctor can seek for his superior’s permission to give a patient his own results. How do you get admitted without seeing your results and told we are following the instructions to admit you? A lot is questionable in the whole scenario,” said Ndadi.

Ndadi further said he’ll await his client’s instruction before considering any court action.

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No water supply in Maun this weekend

*Main water pipe raptured at Nxaraga

*70% water supply shut down for maintenance work

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Most parts of Maun and surrounding areas are expected to experience a dry spell this weekend as the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) cuts water supply for the next two days.

The department’s head of business, Thabo Ndadi, explained that seventy percent supply of water in and around Maun will be shut down to allow for maintenance of main water pipe to the area.

“This week we discovered that our main water pipe that brings in water from Kunyere boreholes has raptured and thus unable to adequately supply water,” explained Ndadi.

Ndadi further confirmed that they started noticing the leak last month but avoided tempering with it as it was during the lockdown and when the country had just reported first cases of the killer Covid-19 disease.

“Our hope and prayer was that the leak would not become so bad before the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency, but the water pressure has gone down and therefore we have to fix the problem and we cannot do it without temporarily cutting the flow,” added Ndadi.

Seventy percent of water supply in Maun is from boreholes along Kunyere river in Nxaraga area, while the other two boreholes in Shashe and Sexaxa make up the remaining thirty percent.

“This effectively means Maun will be running with a seventy percent water shortage and we are pleading with members of the community to use water with extra care,” Ndadi added.

In fact some areas will go dry for over 24 hours and WUC has advised people to store water for weekend use today because from tomorrow, taps will be completely dry. “Many other homes will get water way beyond the 24 hours, because after maintenance the water has to make a long journey to reach the taps, for some it will take 48 hours or so. In fact the whole recovery process takes seven days so, it may be practically impossible to complete the recovery within 24 hours.”

Meanwhile Thamalakane river has started to fill up, but the WUC water treatment plant in Borolong is yet to start pumping water from the river as they have to wait for at least a month for the water “to be of better quality to be processed for consumption. Right now the water volume is still low for such an exercise but the plant is ready to start operations. Already we have begun testing the water for quality and it not yet where we want it to be,” Ndadi said.

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