Vasco Chaya and
©️ THE commendable discipline that Zimbabweans exhibited during the first two days of the coronavirus-induced national lockdown is slipping, the Daily News reports.
This comes as police revealed yesterday that they had arrested 182 people for violating the tough laws that were introduced by authorities earlier this week to combat the spread of the lethal coronavirus.
“Police have so far arrested 182 people for operating shebeens, public drinking, disorderly conduct and committing various traffic offences.
“Police have also observed aimless movements by motorists, with some claiming to be looking for fuel or shopping for basic commodities.
“Such motorists are advised that the law provides for them to do shopping at centres within a five-kilometre radius of their residence,” national police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said yesterday.
“Those found without justification of being outside the 5km radius will be arrested and prosecuted in terms of section 4 of Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020,” he added.
Nyathi also warned the public queuing for basic commodities to observe the guidelines that had been set by the government.
This comes as a Daily News team observed that some people in Bulawayo’s high-density suburbs were no longer observing the 21-day lockdown.
While many shopping centres in the second city were not congested due to constant police patrols, the streets
within the high density suburbs were a hive of activity — with hordes of children playing their usual games.
Some youths and elderly people could also be seen drinking beer in groups outside their house gates.
Although vendors appeared to have heeded the lockdown, some just retreated to their yards where they attracted sizeable numbers of customers.
As the national lockdown progresses, the government instituted a new law earlier this week that criminalises the gathering of two or more people — except in special circumstances.
Statutory Instrument (SI) 83 of 2020, which operationalises the current lockdown, also criminalises the hoarding of medical supplies needed for coronavirus.
Any gathering of more than two people is prohibited — unless people are at a funeral or waiting for public transport.
Even under these two exemptions, the number of people should not exceed 50.
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.
SI 83 also says if anyone is caught, and refuses to return immediately to his or her home, or has no home, such people would be treated as having escaped from a place of detention, isolation or quarantine.
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.
Severe contraventions will attract both a jail term and a fine.
Zimbabwe recorded its first coronavirus death 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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