Harare-Zimbabwe Republic Police(ZRP) has arrested 40 682 people for violating lockdown regulations since the 30th of March 2020 as the Government steps up efforts to circumvent the spread chain of coronavirus, The Herald reports.
National Police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi warned that police would remain firm to enforce lockdown measures and will continue to deal with those refusing to comply with the Government’s efforts to fight the coronavirus.
“Police arrested 274 people across the country yesterday for not wearing face masks in public. Wearing of masks in public is now a legal requirement and we have been urging members of the public to be compliant with the new health regulations but there are some people who are disregarding this and not taking our messages seriously.
“We continue to urge the nation to always adhere to the set Covid-19 regulations. We also remind the nation that the police are there to enforce the law and those caught on the wrong side of the law will be arrested, “ he said.
Assistant Commissioner Nyathi warned haulage truck drivers who are refusing to stop providing transport to people as this elevates the risks of spreading coronavirus.
“Besides being a criminal offense, this act poses a risk to the Government’s efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Police checkpoints, roadblocks and patrols have been activated to account for such drivers. Haulage trucks should stick to their mandate of transporting cargo/goods from one point to the other. Transport companies are implored to take action against errant drivers,” he said.
Recently, the Government gazetted new health regulations requiring all people to wear face masks in public, and those who fail to wear masks face punitive action.
Last Sunday alone, 1 219 people were arrested in different incidents countrywide, but most of them were found in violation of movement restrictions and failure to put a face mask.
Fourteen were imprisoned for liquor-related crimes, 43 under the Road Traffic Act, 68 for opening businesses without exemption letters, 754 for violating movements restrictions,15 for gathering, 274 for failing to put face masks, while 61 for failing to observe the Miscellaneous Offences Act.
Some of the violators of the lockdown measures were fined amounts ranging between $200 and $500, while others will be appearing in court in the near future.
Meanwhile, in a related matter, Ass Comm Paul Nyathi said police has begun investigations into a case in which 232 people at Belvedere Isolation Centre on Saturday staged a demonstration at the institution against an order which required them to pay US$65 for compulsory Covid-19 testing.
“There was a demonstration at the isolation center in which a group of people quarantined there put soil in sadza plates as a way of airing their grievances to the authorities.
“Police were informed and reacted swiftly. No one was injured during the demonstration. We have since launched an investigation into the incident,” he said
The demonstration was staged from 10 am to 4 pm and ended after the intervention of Government officials.