Some Zimbabweans have reportedly defied the national lockdown decree that was imposed this week to stop the spread of coronavirus.
This was revealed by Matabeleland South Provincial Police Spokesperson, Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele who said scores of people were coming into the region en masse to harvest the “delicious” worms. Ndebele said:
We have a big challenge at Gwanda farms where there are plenty of mapone trees. People coming from all walks of life especially Beitbridge and Mberengwa districts rushed to the areas to harvest amacimbi.
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By so doing these people are compromising social distancing thereby likely to spread the virus in the event one or two of them is infected. However, as police, we managed to displace hundreds of them on Wednesday afternoon.
The worms are usually harvested at the end of the rainy season. Many harvesters regard madora/amacimbi, their Shona and Ndebele names, respectively, as a major revenue source while some use them as a relish.
The lockdown means that some are not going to their formal jobs and it presents them with a rare opportunity to harvest the worms.
Some are however perennial harvesters who are aiming to complement their poor farm produce with income from the worms.