Suburban bars, businesses defy lockdown rules

THE police have impounded nine buses illegally operating outside the Zupco franchise while arresting 3 821 people over Covid-19 related contraventions in Harare in the past few days as complacency continues to creep in.

The arrests come as some rogue business operators in Harare are reversing measures put in place to curb Covid-19 by perpetuating complacency and disregarding preventive measures put in place.

A snap survey carried out in residential areas including Warren Park, Westlea, Kuwadzana, Dzivaresekwa, Kambuzuma showed businesses operating well after the existing curfew times stipulated under the level 4 lockdown.

It was observed that rogue operators were failing to provide buckets for hand washing and did not check the temperature or sanitise their customers before entering their business premises.

Patrons were being allowed to enter the business premises without wearing face masks while others were wearing them on their chins.

The most notable ones were butcheries that are supposed to be operating from 8am to 3:30pm, but are stretching up to 6pm in defiance of Government directives.

Despite bars being ordered to shut, they were among the arguably most super-spreaders as they were operating even up to midnight.

Imbibers were being allowed inside bars disregarding the Government and World Health Organisation Covid-19 mitigatory measures falsely believing the virus no longer poses a threat.

Illegal backyard food outlets, especially those selling sadza, also allowed sit-in customers and there was no sanitization of hands taking place, especially at Mereki in Warren Park and Zindoga shopping centre in Waterfalls.

National Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said people should not wait to be arrested, but rather safeguard themselves and others.

“We are arresting all offenders and following the curfew order. We are surprised by the high number of people complaining of being arrested over curfew, that order still stands and should be obeyed.

“We impounded nine buses in Harare that have been operating without a Zupco arrangement. On Monday alone we made 3 821 arrests related to Covid-19 contraventions,” he said.

Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) commended Zimbabwean authorities for the way they have managed the spread of the pandemic, the Government has repeatedly warned of another deadly wave of the virus if people let their guard down.
(The Herald)

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