The Covid19 pandemic could have comparably hit Zimbabwe lesser than it has devastatingly done to other countries across the globe, including neighbouring South Africa for instance, but the plight of the underprivileged elderly in the landlocked southern African nation has changed the mindset of one youthful Redcliff businessman.
Since the beginning of the Covid19 induced national lockdown some six months ago, 31-year old businessman Madron Matiza, widely known in local circles as Son Madro, has taken it upon himself to cushion the elderly people from the dormitory town of Redcliff and his native Gokwe Sesame with basic handouts such as sanitisers and food hampers on a monthly basis.
What is quite striking in Son Madro’s urge towards extending a helping hand to, especially the hard-pressed elderly, is the fact that he has even pledged to broaden his net to other areas beyond Gokwe and Redcliff.
Speaking to this publication on the sidelines of a recent donation to scores of senior Redcliff citizens in Rutendo suburb, the youthful businessman said the Covid19 induced ‘new normal’ compels the business community to spare a thought for the underpreviledged members of the society, especially the elderly.
“When the national lockdown got underway, what most people in the commercial sector were worried about was the fact that their diverse business concerns were going to be adversely affected,” Son Madro told this publication last Saturday.
“It is not a secret that the country is going through a lot of economic challenges at the moment and the Covid19 pandemic has further compounded to Zimbabwe’s existent woes. I believe the elderly are actually the most affected as they cannot fend for themselves. They look up to you and me: that’s my motivating factor,” Son Madro said.
“So, in the six months that the country has been on lockdown, I have distributed over 120 tonnes of mealie meal to the needy, with much bias towards the elderly. They are in a precarious position and are sometimes unjustifiably branded witches and wizards”.
He also expressed wary over the manner through which the general populace has been trivialising Covid19 despite the hundreds of mortalities recorded in the country since the first coronavirus case was announced on March 20, 2020.
Zimbabwe has been on national lockdown since March 30 this year. Statistically the country has recorded 7 526 Covid19 cases, making 5 678 recoveries while a total of 224 locals have succumbed to the virus.