FRANCISTOWN: Tonota police have dismissed a circulating audio recording claiming an outbreak of coronavirus at a Zezuru homestead in Semotswane, near Tonota, saying it is false, misleading and malicious.
Tonota Police Station commander, superintendent Oteng Ngada told MmegiOnline today that, “We have seen and heard the audio and it’s just false. We are investigating the source that circulated that malicious audio, which has sent Semotswane and the rest of the country in a state of panic”.
Ngada was steadfast that as the police, they never attended any report pertaining to a family that chose to hide one of their own who allegedly died from a coronavirus-related ailment as the audio claimed.
Greater Francistown District Health Management Team (DHMT) co-coordinator, Rose Munyere confirmed to have listened to the audio, which has since gone viral on social media.
“We have seen the audio as the DHMT and as we speak, it is subject to our investigations and our team is on the ground at Semotswane as we want to get to the bottom of the matter,” Munyere said, indicating that they have combed through Semotswane and other areas in the neighbourhood so as to leave no stone unturned.
Since the audio has implicated a lot more people, the Francistown DHMT has widened its net of investigations as the audio suggests a serious health scare in the coronavirus lockdown.
Mandunyane councillor, Lepate Tshomane, who is implicated in the audio allegedly played a role in relation to the Zezuru family that is supposedly infected, when the police raided the said family (name withheld). Tshomane has distanced himself from the matter indicating that the audio was at best a simple ‘hoax’ that the police were now seriously investigating.
“Look, the family that the audio alleges to be bereaved, I have visited them after listening to the audio and they are all healthy and do not have any bereavement as we speak. In fact, they are shocked to learn about the circulating audio,” Tshomane said, indicating that the whole matter
Tshomane indicated that the family that is mentioned in the audio does not reside at Mandunyane, but rather resides at Semotswane. He was hopeful that since the police have commenced their investigations, they would definitely get to the bottom of the matter and nab the culprit to answer for himself.
The audio, which has since gone viral on social media suggests that Semotswane has been hit by coronavirus after the death of a Zezeru man in the village whose name is withheld.
The narrator in the audio alleged that a Zezuru family at Semotswane is in bereavement over the death of a loved one whose life was claimed due to a coronavirus infection.
The audio claims that two members of a Zezuru family recently went to South Africa and upon their return chose to jump the border into Botswana before they found their way back to their village.
The audio claims that upon the duo’s return, one of them fell ill and the family chose to keep him in the house despite that he was showing signs of the coronavirus infection until he succumbed to the disease recently.
According to the audio, some concerned villagers would later report the matter to the police who would later raid the ‘infected’ family and ferried them to the police station and a local clinic for action. In fact, it is alleged in the audio that it was the Mandunyane councillor, Tshomane who reported the matter to the police, but he has since distanced himself from the matter.
It is also alleged in the audio that the police ferried the family members for testing. The voice comes out clearly from the audio warning Semotswane residents not to honour the funeral of the deceased member of the bereaved family lest they too get infected.