ONE of the United Kingdom-based Zimbabweans who attacked Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo and his delegation while on Government business in London is among the 26 returnees quarantined at Belvedere Technical Teachers’ College, The Herald is reliably informed.
It is alleged that the attacker, Ms Mary Nyandoro, is a known MDC-A activist.
She is also believed to be one of the people who tried to resist compulsory quarantine at the college citing “poor conditions” and preferred to be accommodated in a hotel.
Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Lovemore Matuke confirmed her presence, saying Government had noted with concern that some of the 26 UK returnees were actually MDC-Alliance activists who attacked Dr Moyo and other senior Government officials in London last year.
“Ms Nyandoro is among the batch of 26 UK returnees who are complaining about the facilities at the college,” he said.
“Now is not the time to score cheap political mileage, as Government, with the rest of the world is making frantic efforts to fight the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
“These people are attention seekers with a political agenda. This is not time for politicking, the pandemic is serious. We cannot risk their families because they have their own motives. The activists are trying to politicise Covid-19 and trying to destabilise the spirit of unity, which is currently prevailing in the country.
“We will only be able to give attention to such behaviour after we manage to control the pandemic.”
The returnees cited deplorable state of affairs at the isolation centre that included lack of running water and being forced to share toilets and bathrooms.
It has since been revealed that toilets are working properly and there is clean running water for bathing, while mineral water for drinking is provided.
There is also uninterrupted electricity, with the group enjoying three-course meals a day.
Government has since declared that there would be no red carpet treatment for the UK returnees, stating that they would be quarantined just like any other Zimbabwean returning, as the country joins the rest of the world in the battle to contain the spread of Covid-19.
In July last year, Dr Moyo was accompanied by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana, among other Government officials, to London on a four-day re-engagement programme to strengthen ties and lure investors.
While, on the re-engagement mission, they were attacked by placard-waving protesters who were demanding the release of MDC-Alliance deputy chairperson Mr Job Sikhala who had been arraigned before the courts for allegedly trying to subvert a constitutionally-elected Government.
Ms Nyandoro was part of the crowd seen showering the delegation with bottled water and calling the delegation names, and she was the most vocal among the group.
She held a placard labelled “TOO EARLY TO REMOVE SANCTIONS”, referring to illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by some Western countries that have affected the economy. – Herald