The Sunday Mail
“When I heard that water from Tokwe-Mukosi Dam was now only 100 metres away, I felt some stomach cramps, it was shocking and the pain was very sharp,” discloses Mrs Knowledge Mujere of Chivi. However, despite the pain, Mrs Mujere was alive to the fact that she had just a few minutes to salvage a few belongings and run for dear life.
“The first thing I took was the bag that contained clothes I had bought in preparation for the arrival of my baby.
“I also managed to take a bag of maize-meal, a pot, two plates, a blanket and a few clothes for my husband and two children,” she said.
The belief that she was now in labour saw Mrs Mujere getting some VIP treatment as scores of villagers stampeded their way out of the river’s basin.
She was ushered into an ox-drawn cart and ferried to Gunikuni Primary School where the stranded villagers waited for transport to ferry them to the Chingwizi holding camp.
Everyone, including her husband Mr Tyamba Mujere, thought she was in labour and expected her to deliver within hours.
However, this was not to be.
“We spent a week at Gunikuni Primary School waiting to be relocated to Chingwizi holding camp and I never experienced any stomach cramps during my time there.
“Life at Gunikuni was not easy, we had to sleep outside in the rain, but the grace of God saw us through,” recalls Mrs Mujere. The journey from Gunikuni Primary School to Chingwizi was by bus and far from being a pleasant one for the heavily pregnant woman.
“The bus was stuffy and overcrowded but since it was raining on the day, it was far much better than being in a truck.
“We were asked to put our luggage into the lorry and everything, including my new baby clothes, was soaked by the heavy rains,” said Mrs Mujere.
“The situation has slightly improved here at Chingwizi since we now have shelter. The food situation had also improved.
“To my advantage, there is a clinic a few meters away from my tent and that made it easy for me to go and be examined.” After a week at Chingwizi, Mrs Mujeri delivered a set of healthy boys whom the family named Godfrey and Godknows. However, to the rest of the villagers at Chingwizi, Godfrey and Godknows Mujere are popularly known as Tokwe and Mukosi Mujere.
Just when the Mujeres thought that the worst was behind them, Amai “Tokwe and Mukosi” suffered from post-birth illness and the local clinic referred her to Chivi District Hospital where she was admitted for a couple of days.
When The Sunday Mail visited, Mrs Mujeri was still visibly weak and struggled to cope with balancing between attending to the twins, daily chores as well as the high temperatures.
Traditionally, it is considered taboo to take a baby outdoors before the falling off of the umbilical cord but the high temperatures at Chingwizi means that the babies cannot stay for long in the tent that their family now calls home.
“I do not have an option, the babies are still too young but the temperature inside the tent is too high.
“I only make sure that they are dressed well and they are in a shade,” explained Mrs Mujere.
Mr Tyamba Mujere disclosed that they named the twins Godknows and Godfrey because they saw “the hand of God.”
“I thank God that my wife delivered safely. It was difficult ever since the early stages of the pregnancy as she was always sick. “When the floods struck I feared for her life greatly.
“We weren’t aware that she was carrying twins and were pleasantly surprised with the manner in which God blessed us in the midst of such strife,” he said.
Meanwhile, the arrival of Godfrey and Godknows appears to have opened the floodgates for other new arrivals.
The Chingwizi holding camp’s acting community health nurse, Sister Sithokhozile Shandirwa, disclosed that they recorded nine births in March.
“We have set up a maternity clinic here since we noticed that the camp was holding a lot of people and births were likely to occur.
“However, we are facing serious equipment shortages and this forces us to refer all complications to Chiredzi General Hospital,” she said.