The nation was plunged into shock and mourning as news filtered that talented journalist Zororo Makamba had succumbed to COVID-19 after his return from the United States of America.
By the time of going to print, the Ministry of Health and Child Care had also confirmed the news that was initially broken on microblogging site Twitter by South African-based business tycoon Mutumwa Mawere who tweeted: “Mr Zororo Makamba, the son of Mr James Makamba has passed on. MHSRIEP. I have just learned of this tragic loss of life due to the virus. A giant with so much potential has fallen. Coronavirus is real. Let us pause and reflect. Life is too precious.”
“Mr Zororo Makamba, the son of Mr James Makamba has passed on. MHSRIEP. I have just learned of this tragic loss of life due to the virus. A giant with so much potential has fallen. Corona is real. Let us pause and reflect. Life is too precious” read the handle @mmawere on March 23, 2020.
The businessman reportedly revealed that Zororo collapsed at Wilkins Hospital in Harare, the referral centre for COVID-19 cases in the capital.
As the news filtered, Spiked Online Media interviewed some of the people queuing for cash at one of the popular banks located along Harare’s Kwame Nkrumah Avenue.
“We are shocked to learn that the multi-talented and popular talk show presenter Zororo Makamba is no more. This is a reality that we must live with from the top political leadership down to the grassroots. It’s sad that we still have some people who believe coronavirus is the disease of the whites and the elites. Imagine the rate of transmission given that we are over 200 people squashed in the queue for money at this bank despite an order against getting into groups with many people!” a man who identified himself as John Mwashita said.
Tafadzwa George Goliati, the President of the Passenger Association of Zimbabwe commiserated with the Makamba family and said transport blues currently obtaining in the country were a recipe for a huge disaster.
“My deepest condolences go to the Makamba family in this difficult time of losing their beloved one. However, this should be a wake-up call to those in authority to find ways of limiting the contact of commuters especially those using public transport like commuter omnibuses and the ZUPCO buses. If nothing is done to educate the public as a matter of urgency, we are surely heading for immense disaster,” Goliati said.
Many companies like Stewart Bank, BancABC and the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe, just to mention a few, have urged social isolation as a means of controlling the spread of the pandemic.