By ZBC Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) said Friday that the situation around the country remained “calm and peaceful” as illegal protests called by opposition activists despite the deadly #Covid-19 pandemic failed to take off.
Opposition activists had called the illegal protest supposedly against corruption but authorities said the demonstrations were aimed at removing the country’s constitutionally elected government.
According to ZBC reporters there were no incidents reported in most cities and towns as most people stayed at home.
The situation in the Central Business District (CBD) was calm as law enforcement agents strictly monitored movement to maintain peace and order.
Most roads leading into the City Centre were empty as law enforcement agents diligently conducted their duties at various checkpoints, sifting through genuine working staff and non-essential service providers.
ZRP national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the environment was peaceful although he confirmed they had made a handful of arrests in Harare.
A survey conducted by the ZBC news crew in some of the traditional hotspots such as Mbare revealed a trend of peace and calm, as most people ignored social media messages that inciting protests.
THE situation was peaceful and calm as Bulawayo residents chose to stay indoors after ignoring calls by merchants of violence to demonstrate and cause instability in the country.
From early in the morning until after midday, the city centre was quiet with only those who needed basics making their way to various shopping centres.
Law enforcement agents were positioned at strategic points to maintain law and order.
There was limited movement of people in Masvingo central business district, although most large retail shops were open for business while some smaller ones closed shop.
Roads leading into the central business district that are normally characterized by high volumes of traffic were characterised by little movement, an indication that most decided to stay at home at a time when the opposition was calling for demonstrations country wide.
Officer commanding Masvingo province, Assistant Commissioner Taonei Nyazema, told ZBC news that no incidents of unlawful protests were recorded save for one individual who was arrested for violating lockdown regulations .
“We have covered the length and breadth of Masvingo province including Masvingo city. Our police officers and other security officers are on High alert. People are going about their business as usual,” he said.
In residential areas that include Rujeko and Mucheke, it was business as usual with retailers open for business with Security forces maintaining a notable presence in these areas.
The Gweru Central Business District (CBD) was unusually quiet throughout the day as most people observed lockdown regulations by staying at home while ignoring calls for illegal demonstrations by opposition elements.
Most businesses and banks closed shop save for major supermarkets with alert security services personnel present in most streets as they monitored adherence to lockdown rules.
At most entry and exit points of the CBD, some people were being turned away for failure to justify their movement.
The situation was however different in the western suburbs where people went about their business like any other normal working day under the national lockdown regulations.
Bars were closed while supermarkets and butcheries were open as people observed the social distancing in whatever they were doing.
MUTARE & CHIPINGE
It was business as usual across Manicaland Province as residents shunned calls by the opposition for illegal demonstrations with people opting to prioritise their safety amid the ever-increasing cases of Covid-19 local transmissions in the country.
Business activity, was however low in Mutare’s Central Business District with the majority heeding the call to stay indoors while the same situation was also noted in Chipinge with banks, major retail outlets and filling stations opened.
By 3pm almost all the streets were deserted as residents comply with the dust-to-dawn curfew.
Manicaland provincial development coordinator, Mr Edgars Seenza, said there were no reports of violence across the entire province and commended residents for showing maturity.
With Covid -19 local transmissions spreading spiking, Gwanda residents seem to know better than engage in behaviour that increases the risk of infection.
Most stayed at home and ignored calls to participate in illegal demonstrations called by the opposition supposedly against corruption.
The Minister of state for Matabeleland South Cde Abednico Ncube commended the public for upholding peace and adhering to the lockdown regulations.
“I would like to commend our people for heeding to calls by government to stay at home,” he said. “Why would right thinking people plan a demo when we are faced with a serious health crisis?”
Meanwhile essential service providers like clinics , hospitals , banks and supermarkets remained open for the stipulated period, while security details were on the ground to enforce lockdown regulations.
Calls by opposition elements for demonstrations fell on deaf ears in Marondera as most people preferred to stay at home while those who went into town conducted their business peacefully.
All major retail outlets were open as people came to do their shopping although there was limited human traffic.
Tobacco farmers who had travelled from their rural areas could be seen in the queue waiting to be served at Agribank while the Marondera magistrates court was also open.
It was the same situation at Marondera provincial hospital where people could be seen milling around at the entrance waiting to see their relatives during the lunch time visit.
In the high-density areas, most streets were deserted as people heeded the call to stay indoors with a few children seen playing in the streets while some people were fetching water at boreholes.