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Poverty stricken & striking cops

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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