State of the Nation Reporter
Mereki, one of the best pubs in Harare is slowly returning to life as revelers from different parts of Harare are now converging at the place for drinks and braai as usual.
State Of The Nation reporter visited the place on Saturday after receiving a tip that Mereki is now open for business.
As the reporter arrived, 4 boys quickly ran towards him to ask if they could braai his meat and sell sadza to him.
The reporter asked where they were braaing the meat as there was no fire at designated braai stands and cooking areas. But one of the boys told the reporter that they braai at a house near the shopping area.
The majority of houses that surround Mereki are now new braai spots. This is where revelers from different corners of the capital are now coming to enjoy themselves with roasted meat, something which they had missed during the lockdown.
When revelers arrive, they proceed to the butchers that are operating as they were allowed to operate as part of essential services. After buying meat, they give it to one of the boys who will be competing to please the potential customer to be chosen. The boy that the reveler picks will then go to a house nearby to braai the meat while the reveler returns to his/her car to spend some valuable time with companions.
Parked cars were roughly 30 or more when the reporter arrived at the place. Revelers were buying their drinks at bars through backdoors. Soon after the boy returns with the meat, the revelers will go to the boots or bonnets of their cars and enjoy. No one will be maintaining social distance or wearing a face mask, putting themselves at the danger of contacting Coronavirus.
One of the butchery attendants told the reporter that they have been operating normally since the day President Emerson Mnangagwa extended the level 2 lockdown, an extension which came with relaxed terms for most formal businesses in the capital.
“We have been operating normally since the day the level two lockdown was announced. We only close temporarily when law enforcement agents visit for random checks because we are not being allowed to sell meat to people if they are not wearing masks. But these clients are coming without wearing them. So we end up selling to them because we cannot turn them away.
The revelers also do not like to apply hand sanitizers as they enter the shops. So we end up breaking the law which prohibits us from selling to them” said the butcher.
According to one of the ladies who sells sadza, the police are rarely visiting the area to check if people are complying with lockdown rules.
“These days they come twice a day. But we just hide away from the shops only for a temporary moment. We then return to our businesses when they leave” she said.
The Country now has 56 cases of COVID 19. The cases have been rising daily for the past three days, and one of the cases is reported to be in Harare, with no traveling history.
This leaves Harare with the possibility of having several undetected cases that may lead to the spreading of the virus if people hang around like what the State Of The Nation reporter saw at Mereki.