BY MIRAM MANGWAYA/TAFADZWA KACHIKO
GOVERNMENT has barred police from blocking motorists entering city centres and allowed free travel of workers to and from work following concerns about delays at roadblocks.
In a statement yesterday, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe said police would enforce lockdown regulations at roadblocks between 10am and 3:30pm as well as during the curfew.
“To facilitate movement to and from work, people will be allowed to travel between 0600 hours and 1000 hours in the morning and between 1530 hours and 1800 hours, after which the curfew will kick in,” Kazembe said in a statement on Twitter.
“In between 1000 hours and 1530 hours, police will continue to enforce the lockdown regulations.”
Under the reviewed level 4 lockdown measures, the curfew continues to run from 6:30pm to 6am.
Motorists have been complaining of cumbersome processes at roadblocks mounted at the Hunyani River Bridge along Seke Road, and another roadblock along Harare-Mutare Highway at Mabvuku turn-off.
There was congestion at roadblocks, with long, winding queues of vehicles waiting to be cleared.
A commuter, who was travelling to Chitungwiza for work from Machipisa, told NewsDay that he got to his workplace after
“It was not easy to pass through the roadblocks. The police, some of high ranking positions, were asking for exemption letters and some people were unfortunately turned back. It was easy for those who opted to walk. I have a feeling that there are people who were late for work,” the commuter, who identified himself as Enock, said.
A motorist, who preferred anonymity, said the situation was frustrating and confusing as the police wanted exemption letters or vaccination cards.
Chitungwiza South legislator Maxwell Mavhunga (MDC Alliance) said he wrote to Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga complaining about the unnecessary delays at roadblocks, following a public outcry over the matter.
Mavhunga said the delays were affecting productivity as they were taking up employees’ time at work.
“As much as I am alive to the need to screen people getting into the central business district, I notice that genuine motorists with all relevant paperwork, some of whom are essential services providers are stuck in the queues without access,” Mavhunga stated in the letter.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi warned the public against unnecessary movements, which were causing traffic congestion. He urged people to plan their journeys in advance.