POLICE yesterday threatened to tighten COVID-19 lockdown enforcement measures, accusing citizens of being complacent and ignoring set regulations to combat the spread of the virus as the country is experiencing the second wave of the pandemic.
BY MOSES MATENGA
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said citizens had become “too relaxed” in the face of rising COVID-19 cases, hence the need for tighter enforcement.
“The police reminds Zimbabweans that the country is still under COVID-19 lockdown measures which include a curfew which runs from 2200hrs until 0600hrs the following day. The enforcement of these health, safety and security measures is still paramount,” Nyathi said.
“Police has noted with concern that some sections of the public no longer value wearing of face masks, observe social distancing guidelines, sanitisation and public gathering restrictions.
Nyathi added: “COVID-19 is real and the public should avoid being complacent and co-operate with law enforcement agents to curtail the spread of the pandemic.”
He said restrictions on gatherings remained in place with not more than 100 people in churches, 50 or less at funerals and only low-risk sports allowed.
Weddings, birthdays, house parties, political and other social gatherings and all-night prayers remain banned, so are casinos, night clubs and bars.
“Police has intensified patrols, surveillance, checks and other measures to ensure arrests are affected and the law takes its course without fear or favour. Those found operating shebeens or selling and drinking liquor while closed inside bars, night clubs and other premises will be dealt with,” Nyathi said.
“In the same vein, kombis or private vehicles which are pirating within cities and on inter-city routes will be impounded. Besides, the drivers will be taken to the owners who are obviously not taking heed of the government call to be responsible and law-biding citizens.”
A total of 224 037 people have been arrested since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown in March while 23 180 vehicles have been impounded.
Nyathi also warned officers engaging in corruption at COVID-19 checkpoints, roadblocks and other enforcement sites that the long arm of the law would catch up with them.