The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission has set up a stand-by team which will help maintain peace around the country during the 21-day lockdown.
BY STAFF REPORTER
The commission said COVID-19, which has claimed over 40 000 lives globally, poses a threat to the global economy, international peace and security, adding that the disease is piling misery to a world already burdened by climate change which has caused severe droughts and other climate related disasters across the globe.
“The advent of COVID-19 is undoubtedly a threat to international peace and security as world economies are impacted negatively resulting in ripple effects across the globe,” the NPRC said in a statement.
“The pandemic has added misery to a world already reeling under the burden of climate change. As a member of the global family, Zimbabwe is not spared from these negative effects of this pandemic.”
NPRC added: “The commission has set up a stand-by team which will be monitoring the environment for the maintenance of peace around the country. This is in line with its constitutional mandate to detect potential conflicts and provide early warning to enable appropriate preventive responses.”
The commission will also take part in information dissemination through NPRC structures comprising provincial peace committees who will work with deputy chairpersons of provincial peace committees and provincial and district development co-ordinators.
NPRC said although the majority of citizens heeded the call to stay at home, reports from their structures reveal that “in some areas there were people moving around, many of whom to buy essentials such as fuel and food, while in some areas, enforcement authorities faced some resistance, particularly at public markets.
“Some shops and beer outlets initially opened but later complied with the lockdown order. Sensitisation through traditional leaders, councillors and local authorities in the rural areas is ongoing.”
The commission also received reports that there was positive response from law enforcement agencies in the manner in which they assisted the public to return home, “however, unverified cases in some areas indicated reports of people being beaten for not complying with the order; passengers being asked to alight from Zupco buses, and confiscation of vehicles that were getting into town with the owners being asked to collect them after 21 days, arrest of a journalist who was going about his normal duties”.