GWERU District will with immediate effect start the rounding up of mentally ill people on the streets of the provincial capital in reaction to the stoning of a Redcliff man by a suspected mental patient in Kwekwe Central Business District last month.
Speaking during a meeting for stakeholders district development coordinator Tarisai Mudadigwa said the district was ready to roll out the programme after earlier efforts were hampered by resource challenges.
Mudadigwa called on Queen of Peace Institute for Community Mental Health Innovation and Rehabilitation which will house the mental patients to finish the administrative requirements needed for the round-up to begin.
“We need to start the round-up after the Kwekwe incident as we have a number of people on the streets of Gweru that are a potential threat,” he said.
Queen of Peace Institute for Community Mental Health Innovation and Rehabilitation psychological officer Lloyd Maketo said they were ready to commence the roundup but would need the support of key stakeholders like the police, Gweru City Council and the Ministry of Health and Child Care among others.
Maketo proposed that they start the round-up with less difficult patients as they mobilise resources.
“We need to start with about two patients, one we have identified and was at one time an inmate at Queen of Peace.
“Starting small will enable us to mobilise resources,” he said.
Maketo said they will need psychologists, nurses, the police and correctional services officials to carry out the exercise.
“We will need sedatives and the police in the event that the people we want to round up become violent,” he said.
The Kwekwe community was left speechless on July 26 this year when a suspected mental patient Rodrick Hove (21) stoned a man who was going the opposite direction in Kwekwe Central Business District. The man fell unconscious but later died on admission to Kwekwe General Hospital.
Kwekwe last week carried out a round-up of all homeless people on the streets after the incident.
Hove was arrested after the intervention of the public soon after the stoning incident.
Speaking during the initial meeting with stakeholders in February this year, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Senator Larry Mavima said bad attitude towards people with mental health worsens their plight.
“Misconceptions about mental illness fuel stigma and discrimination which in turn drive people with mental illness onto the streets,” Mavima was quoted saying.