Covid-19 lockdown a chance for homeless people to reform: Machakaire

IMG 20200508 WA0079
IMG 20200508 WA0079

Tawanda Marwizi

Youth, Sports and Arts Deputy Minister Tinoda Machakaire says homeless people must use their current stay at Mt Hampden Training Centre to revive their lives and be rehabilitated.

The Training Centre is now home to 150 homeless men – above the age of 18 – who were removed from the city centre to curb the spread of Covid-19 that has infected nearly four million people around the world.

“We are going to work with relevant Ministries so that you get proper documentation as well as get enrolled at this institution. All we want from you is discipline. For now let’s focus on the fight against Covid-19. Practice social distancing and teach each other good hygiene,” Machakaire said.

This comes amid reports that some of the homeless sheltered at the centre are abusing the centre’s property, which they are selling to neighbouring communities sometimes in exchange for drugs.

So far seven have been arrested for theft.

The principal at the training center Ozias Marange said they received blankets from the social welfare but they were stolen.

“Our challenge is that these guys are stealing some of the centre’s property and selling them to the community. However we have asked the police to increase manpower and the crime incidences have since declined,” he said.

Marange said the main challenge was that they don’t have enough security at the centre and that gives the street kids allowance to get out of the training centre.

However some have seen the light through the rehabilitation programmes that are being rolled out. Frank Mwambungo (26) who is from Bindura and resides at South Avenue and Orr street in now training to be a chef at the training Centre.

“I have seen the light, the rehabilitation programmes being rolled out during this Covid-19 period has assisted us,” he said.

22-year old Maswell Bingwa said the Covid-19 pandemic has caused havoc in the world but changed his life in a big way.

“I used to wash cars at 4th street and sleep in the streets but now I am here and my life has changed. I now want to pursue Hotel and Catering studies here so that I become a professional chef,” he said.

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