“Farmers must continue to produce for our nation even under conditions of lockdown.
“Farmers and traders alike must equally continue to deliver produce to markets, including to those markets that supply our cities, towns and growth points.“To that end, I direct our security arms to ensure a pathway for food supply. All agriculture activity must remain undisturbed throughout the period of the lockdown,” Mnangagwa said.“All our producers must continue to feed our nation with minimum hustles,” he added, while also paying tribute to the public for having generally heeded the lockdown to date.
“We did not confiscate the vegetables, but we had to destroy them with the aid of the City Health Department after their owners abandoned them … otherwise it is not illegal to sell vegetables.
“We don’t want people to gather while doing their business. That is what we wanted to ensure when we moved in,” he said.
Reacting to all this, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) criticised the government and the police for “failing to execute the lockdown measures fairly”.“The informal sector food markets must be re-organised, supported and opened to ensure food security in the suburbs.“If big corporates including mines are getting exemptions, then these essential services must be allowed to provide cheap food items and convenience.“A lockdown in Zimbabwe is clearly for the poor only, and business as usual for the rich and big corporates.
“It is no longer a fight against Covid19 in Zimbabwe but a fight against the people,” ZCTU president Peter Mutasa said.
Residents also told a Daily News crew that the police were allegedly not permitting them to buy basics at the shops.
“But in reality, police are terrorising people on a daily basis since Monday, as they are forcing people to stay at home.“They used teargas on us today (yesterday) and forcibly dispersed vendors who had set up their stalls,” said an irate local resident Susan.But national police spokesperson Paul Nyathi refuted the claims that police had fired teargas at the residents.
“I have spoken to the Harare province commanding officer. He said they never received any reports of tear smoke in Kuwadzana,” he said.
“Police arrested 390 people yesterday for failing to observe the lockdown measures. This brings the total number of people arrested for violating the lockdown to 875.
“As health officials, we encourage people to stick to the lockdown measures.“We are also advising police officers to practice social distancing of at least two metres when rounding up suspects, so that they do not expose themselves and suspects to the virus.
“At a minimum, police officers should wear masks to avoid contracting the virus and becoming Covid-19 patients at some point,” Solwayo Ngwenya, a health activist, said.
Outside of this, people are only allowed to leave their homes for essential goods and services, including going to shops to buy food or visiting pharmacies for medication, and going to fuel stations.
It also says those found guilty of hoarding medical supplies needed to combat Covid-19 and food will either be jailed for a year or pay a fine.
Zimbabwe recorded its first coronavirus death last month after television personality Zororo Makamba — who was the youngest son of telecommunications tycoon and former legendary broadcaster James Makamba — died at Wilkins Hospital, after being diagnosed with the lethal virus.
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