Video Evidence Convinces Govt To Act On Covid-19 Bodies Being Smuggled Into The Country Under Shocking Conditions.
25 July 2020
Spread the love

State Media

A dead body pictured packed together with groceries in a trailer on the way to Zimbawe from South Africa

GOVERNMENT has expressed concern over reports that bodies of Zimbabweans who could have died from Covid-19 in neighbouring countries are being smuggled into the country, saying that could be a source of the spike in local spread of the virus.

Police have since activated its officers on the country’s borders to be on high alert to detect such illicit practices.

International truckers and the cross-border couriers known as “omalayitsha”, who remit money and commodities across the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe are allegedly at the centre of the scandal.

They are reportedly transporting the corpses for a fee.

Reports are that some of the corpses are wrapped in plain sheets and bundled together with groceries, exposing recipients to the deadly Covid19 pandemic.

Social media platforms are awash with videos, audios and pictures showing the smuggled coffins with the remains of a suspected Covid-19 victim.

In one of the videos, a truck allegedly belonging to “omalayitsha” is seen offloading groceries and a coffin at an unknown home where a funeral was being conducted.

The coffin and groceries were loaded in the same trailer.

In another picture also circulating on social media, a coffin laden with groceries and a corpse can be clearly seen with unconfirmed reports linked the body to Covid-19.

In another incident, there was drama at the burial of a Coronavirus victim after family members of the deceased buried the body with four bags containing goods that were smuggled and destined to the funeral service company driver’s client thinking they belonged to their departed person.

According to a video circulated on social media, the driver was sleeping during the funeral service and the relatives saw the bags and put them together in the grave according to their tradition.

When the driver woke up, he realized what was happening and quickly stopped the burial process and retrieved the bags.

Watch the video downloading below.

In a tweet, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana said the rot could be the reason for the spike in local Covid-19 transmissions.

“The smuggling of goods hidden as contraband in a coffin carrying the remains of a Covid-19 victim is a concern. The people that handle, use or eat such goods are being exposed to the virus.

“One never knows how prevalent the practice is but this may explain some local transmissions,” he said.

Mr Mangwana said this kind of smuggling is possible because borders are porous.

“The porousness of our long border has become a cliché. People are smuggling human bodies through undesignated crossing points, putting themselves and others at risk from Covid19 infection. In some cases, there is corrupt collusion with those who are supposed to apprehend them.”

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi warned people against smuggling bodies although he indicated no such reports had been officially received by the police.

He said police, Zimra and immigration officers at the borders were now on high alert and any such practices would be detected.

“We want to urge members of the public to report to the police if they see such things happening so that investigations can be conducted. But at the moment we do not have any concrete evidence to what is being alleged.

“We have alerted all officers who are policing at the borders so that they work together with officers from the Immigration and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA). They should remain alert,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.