While socialite Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure was buried at his Domboshava home amid pomp and fanfare on Saturday, the event left concerns on how those who attended disregarded measures to avoid the spread of Covid-19.
Police had given warning prior to the burial that those who wanted to attend should always remember the threat of Covid-19 and follow all the protocols meant to avoid the disease spreading among themselves and eventually their associates.
The number of those who attended was supposed to be not more than 100, according to Covid-19 regulations, but thousands turned up.
Many of them were without face masks or those who had them chose to wear them wrongly, while there was no social distancing, as people pressed forward to have a better view of the proceedings.
But there were a few who put on their face masks throughout the event.
Thousands of people, among them local and international dignitaries, descended on Domboshava to bid farewell to the socialite.
They were greeted with posters marked “No Mask No Entry” at the mansion’s entrance, but they proceeded without the face masks.
Outside the mansion where tents pitched for speeches and other pre-burial formalities, people were packed to the brim inside the tent hosting Ginimbi’s body without maintaining social distancing, and the situation was the same with many others outside the tent.
Those who entered the mansion’s gate had their hands sanitised, a move which showed that burial organisers were pretty alert to the dangers posed by Covid-19.
A villager who declined to be named said while they were mourning their local hero, they felt exposed to Covid-19 because of the high number of people who descended on Domboshava, with many of them not following preventive measures for the spread of the disease.
“Most people here are at risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19 because there are thousands of people here and only a handful are wearing face masks,” said the villager.
“There is no social distancing and sanitisation of people outside the mansion, and people are doing what they want in breach of the Covid-19 protocols. We all know that Genius was a popular figure, but people should know that the Covid-19 pandemic has not ended yet and the virus is real.”
Among those who attended Ginimbi’s burial were politicians, business people, celebrities and ordinary people. One of Ginimbi’s closest friends, Kirkpatrick Chidamba, who was his personal photographer, said Genius was planning to extent the road from Hatcliffe to Domboshava.
“He improved Domboshava,” he said. “Most of the people in Domboshava are now building fancy houses because of the legacy that was left by Genius. What is going to be shared are Genius’ clothes, not his other property.
“May Genius’ family give us the chance to come here at his mansion and continue with what Genius wanted to be done. We are deeply saddened by this loss.”
Speaking at the burial, Norton legislator Mr Temba Mliswa described Ginimbi as an intelligent person with a good heart who helped others.
“Genius was intelligent and was an icon in Domboshava,” he said.
“I helped to get some of his cars in Zimbabwe. We enjoyed each other’s company and Genius had a good heart. People can say it all, but Genius was a good person.
“We used to train together in his gym. His legacy will leave on and I beg for a smooth transition of his wealth.”
Ginimbi died in a horrific car accident on Sunday last week that also claimed three of his friends.