By Precious Moyo
When misfortune packs its bags to dine with people, it sends no signal but jumps in like a robber. What started off as a normal Zanu Pf rally meant for people to celebrate and chant their party slogans, turned into a horrific moment where innocent people including women got permanent injuries that they have been battling with for over six months now.
The sounds and images of the white city bombing that occurred last year, weeks before the July 30 elections remain fresh and haunting to some of the women whose lives have been turned into prisons due to the incident.
Failure to pay their medical costs, children’s school fees or even put food on the table have doubled with the fresh wounds that have not healed and remain their daily headache.
Though much attention was given to injuries suffered by high ranking government officials including Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Minister of Defence, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Zanu-PF national commissar, Engelbert Rugeje and others, there were also women victims of the blast who suffered serious injuries and still yearn in pain as their wounds, physical and psychological are still fresh.
Despite injured top officials being sent to neighbouring South Africa for treatment, these women have failed to raise as little as $125 RTGS for medication at local public hospitals in Bulawayo.
These women, who were informal traders before the bombing, are no longer able to continue with business as they were injured on their legs.
The women said Government is assisting them to be treated at Mpilo Central Hospital but they are often asked to buy prescribed medication and they have to pay for their transport money to the hospital.
Ms Corrine Mazokera from Bulawayo’s Mpopoma Suburb was wounded on her left leg and is no longer able to walk told Amakhosikazi media that for her to go to the hospital she needs to be accompanied by her young sister for support when moving. She said she sometimes fails to go for reviews due to these complications.
“I go for a review every fortnight and l can’t walk on my own, l need my young sister to accompany. We need almost $8 for a kombi. Where do l get the money since l am no longer working? Life is difficult during such a time,” she said.
She added that on top of the transport woes, she is failing to pay school fees and buy school uniforms for her Form Three daughter.
“As you see l am seated here since July that has been my life. I cannot move or do anything that’s why l took my young sister to help us with home chores. I do not have any means to raise school fees for my children and buy school uniforms for the new term,” she said.
Another woman ,Ms Nelly Moyo from Pumula South who is yet to go for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan after her leg was injured said she urgently requires US$125 to pay for that procedure to avoid amputation.
“I was supposed to get the scan in October and l applied for the medication money at Mhlahlandlela offices but l have not received anything yet. They told me that it will take time to get the money. If l continue delaying the scan, it means the situation worsens. I cannot raise the money,” she said.
Ms Moyo said she is failing to raise school fees and money for uniforms for her children who are in Form Two and Grade One as she is no longer working.
“I used to be a cross border trader and my business was flourishing and could sustain my family but now I am just at home. I am no longer working and cannot raise money for my kids. Prices skyrocketed and life is now difficult,” she said.
Government had said it would help victims of the blast with medical support however the efforts put in have not been enough. Efforts to get a response from ZANU PF and Government officials at Mhlahlandlela on the issue were fruitless.