Wedza villagers are gathering in the mountains to drink beer escaping lockdown arrests.
There are restrictions on the sale of beer during the lockdown pronounced by President Mnangagwa to curb the spread of the coronavirus which has seen villagers devising new means.
Villagers in Wedza have resorted to gathering and drinking opaque beer in mountains to evade arrest during the Covid-19 lockdown.
A brewer of traditional beer only identified as MuChina said he has resorted to selling the beer in the mountains for security reasons.
“There have been raids made at my homestead by authorities after fellow locals alerted them that I was brewing beer and selling it at night. “Last week I was arrested and I had to pay a fine at Wedza Police station.
“I have now made a plan to sell the beer at night in the mountains and this initiative has been welcomed by my patrons. “Since it will be during the night, the police will not risk coming to raid us in the mountains and even if they do my patrons and I know this terrain better than them so we can escape swiftly with no one getting arrested
“I light a huge fire where people gather around so that the customers keep warm as they drink beer chatting and people usually dismiss after midnight,” MuChina said. MuChina added that this is the only way he can raise money to fend for his family.
“At the moment, people are done with harvesting so that I have resorted to selling my beer. “I sell the beer at US$1 for three big cups which is equivalent to three litres. “Those with grains of maize that fills the 5 litre bucket gets two cups of beer,” MuChina added.
Some of the customers are relieved that they are now free to drink beer freely in the mountains after going for weeks without beer. “It had become part of our daily routine that after a hard day of moulding bricks we would go and pass time enjoying a traditional beer at the brewer’s compound.
“After the lockdown, it was no longer the case as we were once raided and even the brewers were now afraid to brew beer.
“This idea of going to the mountains is brilliant as we now have a place where we can drink beer freely, chatting and passing time like before. “There will be a big fire and the place will be filled with plenty of people from different villages,” said Musafare Pindura.
However, this did not go down well with some villagers as some are complaining than the police should make efforts to arrest the brewers.
“These people who brew beer should be arrested and the beer should be confiscated as exhibit, as they are just arresting the brewer.
“We see big fires in the mountains where these drunkards are now gathering and the authorities should make extra effort to stop these gathering,” said a concerned villager who preferred anonymity for fear of victimisation.