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Police get strict on curfew

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masakadzab@dailynews.co.zw

THE police have announced that they are now strictly enforcing the 6pm-to-6am curfew after a great deal of indiscipline from Zimbabweans despite a new wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a bid to slow down the rate of infections and rising deaths, the government a fortnight ago announced a new hard lockdown and curfew for 30 days.

Only businesses providing essential services are allowed to operate from 8am to 3pm while the rest of the public are expected to stay at home. However, in recent days, there has been gross violation of the regulations as people are moving unnecessarily while vendors have trooped back into the central business districts of major cities.

Bars and shebeens are also clandestinely serving alcohol to patrons in violation of a ban on public gatherings. As a result of these encroachments, police from yesterday promised to step up enforcement of lockdown regulations and in particular the dusk-to-dawn curfew.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police warns the public that with effect from today (yesterday) police officers will be out in full force to ensure compliance with the curfew put in place by the government on 2nd January 2021.

“The curfew runs from 1800 hours to 0600 hours the next day. Therefore, movement, whether on foot or motorised, is not allowed during this period and anyone found walking or driving will be arrested, with vehicles impounded,” the police said in a statement.

The police also warned people engaging in intercity travel to avoid violating the curfew period. They said they have noted cases of people and motorists violating the curfew with an increased volume of traffic being recorded along the Harare-Bulawayo highway.

The police alleged some motorists were confrontational with law enforcement agents despite being in violation of the law. On Monday, the police said they arrested 2 336 people across the country for flouting Covid-19 regulations, with offences ranging from unnecessary movement without exemption letters and people not wearing masks.

This brings to 341 251 the number of people arrested since March 2020 when the lockdown was introduced as a measure to curb the spread of the virus.

Speaking to the Daily News in a recent interview, national police spokesperson Paul Nyathi bemoaned the  public’s general disregard of lockdown regulations.

“People are taking this disease for granted. Since January 1, we have arrested close to 40 000 people for disregarding lockdown health protocols.

“We are arresting not less than 2 000 people per day… It’s very disturbing to note the level of indiscipline.

“This past weekend, we had to deploy police to places…where people were gathered in huge numbers. “A lot of them were arrested for not wearing masks, operating shebeens and disregarding other protocols. “What people should know is that it’s not about being arrested but your health and that of others,” Nyathi said.

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