Zimbabweans in South Africa fall victim to Covid-19 food aid hoax

Residents effected by flooding seek refuge at the Mamelodi Baptist Church,10 December 2019, in Pretoria, Gauteng. The church is housing over 400 people following floods that leveled parts of the township leaving nearly one thousand residents misplaced. The church is a drop off point for donations to those who effected. Picture: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

Zimbabwean football internationals Khama Billiat and Nyasha Mushekwi have been dragged in yet another food aid hoax this time in Pretoria.

An audio message (provided) widely circulated on WhatsApp encouraged Zimbabweans in Mamelodi, to convene last Wednesday at 10 AM at a nearby recreational park in Nellmapius 21 popularly known as Marikana, adjacent to Mamelodi District Hospital.

The unidentified voice indicated the two trailblazing stars would show up and and co-ordinate distribution of food aid including mealie-meal, cooking oil and beans.

There was a considerable turn out as Zimbabweans could be seen milling around the park as early as 9 am in anticipation of the relief aid amid a nationwide Lockdown to stave off coronavirus.

Food has become a Herculean task to afford in many households as most people are not going to earning.

Members of the South African Police Services ( SAPS) approached the gathering where they were acquainted with the agenda of the uncleared meeting.

Eventually, they instructed congregants to observe the mandatory one-metre apart rule that is in observance globally for fear of transmitting coronavirus from person to person

By midday the writers witnessed people still milling around expecting someone to turn up with the goodies.

Earlier this month Khama Billiat and Willard Katsande duo who play for Kaizer Chiefs in South Africa were previously indicated as benefactors of another food aid hoax in Hillbrow, Johannesburg that never materialised.

Nyasha Mushekwi is a known benefactor who plys his trade in Chinese League one Division for Zhejiang Greentown Football Club. He once donated a 45- seater bus to his former club, CAPS United in Zimbabwe.

Last week, businessman Frank Buyanga of the African Medallon Group donated groceries to Zimbabweans left out in the South African government food aid scheme.

The food parcels to about 200 000 recipients were dished out in Yeoville, Alexandra, Mamelodi in Pretoria and Emalahleni in Mpumalanga.

The food combo included, maize meal, cooking oil, and flour.

An estimated 3 million Zimbabweans work in South Africa the bulk of which survive doing menial jobs as gardeners, maids as they live as illegals without proper documentation.

Josiah Mucharowana and Masara Taruberekara are journalists in Pretoria. Feedback joemasvokisi@gmail.com

Source – Zim Morning Post