2 arrested for leading protests at Covid19 isolation centre

SIMBARASHE MTEMBO

NEWS EDITOR

MASVINGO – The whereabouts of Daniel Mutambandini and Kudzai Machingambi are not known after they were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly staging a demo to protest against harsh living conditions at a Covid-19 isolation centre at Mushagashe Training Institute near Masvingo.

During the protest on Monday evening, the 23 inmates demanded a meeting with authorities after they spent 21 days of their stay at the centre without being tested for the virus or seeing a medical person.

There are also concerns that Government is trying to keep them at the centre although they have completed their 21 mandatory quarantine days.

Police spokesperson Chief Inspector Charity Mazula said no arrests were made at Mushagashe quarantine centre.

Inmates who called The Mirror on condition of anonymity said their leaders were picked up at 10am by Police and army personnel after they demanded a meeting with social welfare officers.

Masvingo Covid-19 Provincial Taskforce spokesperson Rodgers Irimayi said no inmates were arrested at the centre and tests are being carried out. He also said that an activist at the centre is causing unrest for officials by sending out demeaning messages.

“No inmates were arrested. There are some activists in the centres who are sending out wrong information. Inmates who reached 21 days were tested and those with 10 and 8 days are being tested today; if they are found negative they will be released tomorrow,” said Irimayi.

Inmates who called The Mirror said conditions at the centre were worse than a prison and they are mentally tortured.

They said that they have never been tested for Covid-19 nor seen a doctor since they arrived at the centre 21 days ago.

They accused authorities of putting them at the risk of contracting the virus because inmates who had stayed for 21 days were being mixed with those that are just arriving, said the anonymous callers.

The place has no sanitisers, face masks or gloves, said the inmates.

They only have access to toilets during daytime as they are locked into their hostels at 5pm. The place does not have electricity and they have to pay R10 to locals and Police officers to have their phones charged.

A woman who fell ill at the centre has not been attended to in four days, they alleged. https://masvingomirror.com

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