By Anonymous Mbereko
ON December 28 2020, I travelled to Chipinge with my brother who had visited from South Africa.
We left my rural home around 6am when it was about to rain.
My brother said he was feeling weak and I went behind the steering wheel.
Although he had come from South Africa which was ‘burning’ with COVID-19, we both never suspected he had been hit by the virus since he tested negative at the border when he entered the country.
Upon arrival in Chipinge, my brother started complaining of chest pains.
Unaware, we ignored the sickness and thought it was fatigue due to the long drive.
We spent two days there before we returned home, and during those two days, we mixed and mingled with a lot of people.
We visited a lot of relatives, paying our condolences along the way.
Apparently, my brother had spent three years in South Africa.
I was shocked on our way back when he phoned his friend in Harare, a cross-border bus driver, asking him for his ‘connections’ who were selling COVID-19 certificates.
I couldn’t believe my ears.
I asked myself why my own brother would want to buy a COVID-19 certificate?
Could he have done the same in order for him to enter Zimbabwe?
I tried by all means to contain my anger.
I learnt from their conversation that ‘only US$30 was needed’.
I was outraged because my brother had shown me his irresponsible side.
I didn’t expect such from an educated man with a respected job in South Africa.
I was puzzled.
When we arrived in Harare, ‘everything went according to plan as his certificate was waiting for him’.
The process took less than a minute.
It was just a matter of exchanging the money and the paper and we were gone.
We parted ways soon after as he was rushing to the border to go back to South Africa.
A fortnight later, while I was attending a funeral of a close relative who had succumbed to COVID-19 where family members of the deceased were making frantic efforts to manipulate the COVID-19 test results in order to have a decent send off of their beloved one, again endangering lives of many, I received disturbing news from South Africa.
My brother was battling for his life. He was hit hard by COVID-19. Soon after getting the message, I rushed to my rural home and gathered zumbani, mufandichimuka and gavakava.
I rushed to a courier services company to send the African herbs, but much to my dismay, I was turned down.
My brother’s wife then arranged with a cross-border truck driver to deliver the herbs and the package eventually reached the intended destination.
Zumbani was to be boiled in hot water before inhaling the steam.
Gavakava was to be crushed, mixed with warm water before drinking, while mufandichimuka’s leaves were to be boiled before drinking. It took 11 days for my brother to recover and COVID-19 tests done afterwards came out negative.
To date, I believe my brother was saved by God and our African herbs. There is nothing wrong with giving them a try.