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Life in school post lockdown

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Life in school post lockdown

Dear Learner

I hope this letter finds you in good health.

I’ve decided to write to you because I think of you a lot.

I hope you are keeping safe and taking heed of the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOH&W) guidelines and precautionary measures. I am fine.

I want to talk to you about life in school after lockdown.

You may be going back to the same school and same teachers, but things are not the same now.

I hope you are going back as a different human being who is now thinking and acting differently.

Remember the days before we knew about corona, that you used to be so free and would act anyhow?

I’ve watched you take off your jersey and lovingly lend it to another child in cold weathers.

You’ve even shared your only fat cake with two other hungry classmates.

What’s going to happen now? I want you to think about these good gestures.

But don’t worry, God sees your beautiful heart; He understands.

My boy, you’ve been having a habit of relying on your girl classmate to supply you with tissue paper, should you have the need to rush to the loo, attend to a nose bleed or even an unexpected runny nose.

What’s going to happen this time? Are the girls still going to be your toilet paper holders?

You know very well that I’ve always asked you to carry your own.

To those who were in the habit of stealing from others, I’m glad you’ve changed that habit because this time you’d just be stealing COVID-19.

Just imagine. Think about it. I’m also happy that there won’t be any school fights anymore.

Yah?

Remember the 1m to 2m social or physical distancing? No physical contact.

This also means no silly games, pranks and cruel jokes you used to play with and on each other.

I think you know what I mean.

I could go on and on, maybe even write a book because I’ve a lot to say to you.

Child, I just want you to start thinking differently, if you haven’t yet started.

Don’t you worry, you are not alone.

I got you.

I’m walking with you.

I’m really trying to look at the world differently as well, and I must admit, the world has changed, and it’s more challenging.

Life in school is going to be different as well.

We just have to brace ourselves and accept that life now is not the same as it used to be.

We are going to do things differently, and that would be the new normal way of living.

Me and you, together, can overcome this monster.

Keep well, my child. I can’t wait to reunite with you and continue where we left.

With love
Your teacher

Mrs Patience George
English teacher
Kagiso Senior Secondary School
Ramotswa, Botswana

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Reign of terror

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Reign of terror

Jaws dropped over the weekend as it emerged that an opposition Member of Parliament and two activists who had been reported missing were found badly beaten and tortured.

The three women went missing last Wednesday while in police custody. They had been arrested in Harare for partaking in what the police said was an illegal demonstration.

They were found a few kilometers outside Harare where they had been dumped after allegedly being subjected to two days of horrendous treatment.

It seems their rights were violated in the most despicable ways as they were sexually assaulted and reportedly made to drink each others urine and to eat their faeces.

According to doctors treating the trio, as of Tuesday they were still too traumatized to fully speak about their ordeal and understandable so judging from what they have apparently gone through.

It’s extremely unfortunate that our state security organs seem to believe in violence, terror, torture and abductions rather than dialogue or simply arresting people without having to beat or torture them.

Over the last couple of years, Zimbabwe has made international news for all the wrong reasons and violation of human rights.

In 2018, as election results were still being announced, the army was unleashed to deal with protesters. Six people were killed and dozens were seriously injured.

In January 2019, 17 people were killed following protests over fuel price hikes.

One could go on and on to list all the evil deeds of our regime, which excels at instilling fear in masses instead of dealing with matters at hand.

Many families in Zimbabwe are struggling to put food on the table and when they speak out, they are brutally dealt with.

As for the economy, it remains in free fall as the local currency continues to depreciate against major currencies. This was further worsened by the introduction of a new 10 Bond note on Tuesday. History has taught us that new notes in Zimbabwe mean higher inflation and we just have to brace ourselves for the worst as the new 20 Bond note is also set to be introduced next month.

If there is one thing our government never grasped from the past it is that printing new money does not solve our economic problems but instead makes the situation worse.

At the rate at which things are going, we will soon be poor millionaires again!

With regards to Covid-19, as of Tuesday, the country had 46 confirmed cases, including 18 recoveries and four deaths.

Meanwhile, President Mnangangwa extended the country’s lockdown indefinitely while the situation will be assessed at two weeks interval. This means that wearing a mask in public remains mandatory.

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Poverty stricken & striking cops

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Poverty stricken & striking cops

It is almost two months since the country went into Covid-19 enforced lockdown, yet our government is still to give handouts to the vulnerable as they promised.

This is amid reports that state coffers are literally empty.

On March 30, when the country began the lockdown, the government announced it would fork out US$4 (P40) to the poor every month to cushion them against the effects of the lockdown.

Though little, people at least expected to get the money. To date, not a single penny has been paid out!

On Tuesday, Social Welfare Minister, Prof Paul Mavima admitted no pay out had been made, also revealing that the money has since been increased to US$6 (P60) due to inflation.

At the current black market rate, US$6 is ZWL$246 and only enough to buy eight loaves of bread – still it’s certainly better than nothing!

As for when it would be paid out, the Minister could just not commit.

So the vulnerable should just continue waiting and for all we know, they could wait for the rest of their lives.

In other news, our police officers have been trending again, not for any good deed but as always, their brutality!

They sjamboked, kicked and punched two Bulawayo women in their 30s for violating lockdown rules. The duo had reportedly gone to buy food at their local store when they met the officers who descended heavily on them.

Pictures of the ladies’ badly battered and bruised bodies went viral on social media, sparking an outcry of the cruelty of the cops and a call for justice for the victims.

Police spokesperson has said the six accused cops will face internal disciplinary measures, which I am sure basically means they will be transferred to other stations far from Bulawayo while the victims will be expected to forgive and forget.

Quite unfair but sadly not surprising.

I know first-hand how excited our police officers can be as I almost became their victim a few weeks ago.

Had it not been for my press card, I am sure I would have gotten a few slaps or spent a night in the cells for simply taking a picture of them blocking a vehicle with firewood.

Our officers really need to be schooled in the art of dealing with people, especially the harmless and innocent. There surely is no need to brutalise people who pose no danger to anyone!

Meanwhile, as of Tuesday, Zimbabwe had 37 Covid-19 cases including 12 recoveries and four deaths.

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