The Zumbani “invasion” siege

COMMUNITIES living near Harare are concerned about the influx of people foraging for zumbani, which is increasingly being used as a home remedy for Covid-19.

There are fears the influx will result in increased infections.

Communities along the Harare-Bulawayo highway are some of those witnessing the current trend.

In areas such as Whitecliff and Snake World, it is common to see scores of people, especially women, scrounging for the sought-after plant.

The Pota Farmers Block – a grouping of farmers living along Pota Road near Lake Chivero – is now raising the alarm.

“As a community, we cannot just sit down and watch as we get exposed to Covid-19. We have to be vigilant and take appropriate action,” said a member of the group on its social media platform.

Ruzai Muchaurawa, the Ward 25 Councillor in the Zvimba Rural District Council in Mashonaland West province, under whose jurisdiction the majority of the affected areas falls under, is worried.

“I am going to alert the police about these people who are disregarding the lockdown measures and carelessly exposing our community to the pandemic,” Muchaurawa said.

Known in Ndebele as umsuzwane, zumbani gives off a lemon-like smell and is believed to be one of the most aromatic of Zimbabwe’s indigenous shrubs.

Many people are now resorting to home-made remedies in the fight against the coronavirus.