Chitungwiza residents are worried over the proliferation of secret night prayer groups in the sprawling dormitory town as this may fuel the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The government banned church gatherings under the 30-day level 4 national lockdown which was extended by another ten days to 15 February but some worshippers are meeting nicodemously in defiance of the stay at home order.
A concerned resident, Never Matombo of Unit O Extension, alleged that people from various suburbs and known cross borders are meeting at night for prayer in Chitungwiza. He said:
We are quite worried that these people are praying in large groups at home. People from various suburbs converge here and even some known cross border traders come hence chances of spreading COVID-19 are high.
The gatherings have over 30 people and no masks are worn. They sing throughout the night disturbing our sleep. We are afraid that the virus will spread in our communities if no action is taken to stop this.
However, some church members who were interviewed by The Herald believe that it is only God who can save people from the coronavirus. Madzimai Mirriam Mutevedzi of Zengeza 4 said:
My sister, how many people are dying even in the developed nations? Does it mean they were not wearing masks and sanitizing?
COVID-19 only requires God’s intervention that’s why we are praying and we should not be banned.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing a more deadly second wave of COVID-19 since the festive season. As of 29 January 2021, the country had 32 952 confirmed cases, including 24 872 recoveries and 1 178 deaths.