THERE will be no red carpet treatment for United Kingdom (UK) returnees who are under quarantine at Belvedere Technical Teachers’ College, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Professor Paul Mavima has said.
The minister said the UK returnees would stay at the Belvedere Technical Teachers’ College during the quarantine period.
Prof Mavima’s statement comes after a batch of 26 Zimbabweans returning from the United Kingdom this week refused compulsory quarantine in Belvedere citing “poor conditions” and preferred to be checked into a hotel.
According to Government officials, the returnees knew that it was mandatory for everyone coming from Covid-19 hotspots to be in quarantine.
Government had a difficult time on Monday trying to negotiate with the returnees to accept compulsory quarantine. Minister Mavhima said the motive of the returnees’ in posting pictures and videos online was to tarnish the image of the country.
Minister Mavima said: “This is the tragedy of Zimbabwe. This is the tragedy that comes with cynicism and the tragedy that comes with self-hate. You cannot go and get the worst part and publicise it internationally for essentially the purpose of denigrating your own country,” he said.
Minister Mavima said he had instructed Permanent Secretary of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Secretary, Mr Simon Masanga to provide blankets and mattresses if the returnees needed them.
“There has been an inspection by the Ministry of Health and Child Care and they have said these facilities were ready to accommodate people,” he said.
“We will need to deal with the issue of water. There is currently water that is flowing into the hostels. There is also need for a booster pump and a filter for borehole water to go in,” he said.
Minister Mavhima said each wing had four showers and can host four or five people.
“The toilets are working properly. What we have instructed our people to do is to disinfect regularly — maybe two, three times a day, so that we can maintain the hygiene and sanitation. These are the interventions that we are making, but basically this facility is ready and we are satisfied.”
Prof Mavima said there had been no complaints over the food except for one person who is diabetic.
College principal, Ms Juliana Mbofana said the returnees were allocated rooms according to instruction from the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
“We have tried our best in allocating them rooms, dividing them according to the instructions from the ministry.
“Those who tested negative were taken to Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration Management (ZIPAM) and those who tested positive remained here, and they are being taken care of by the Ministry of Health and Child Care. The second lot came and were tested. The results I think will come out today (yesterday).”