POLICE have arrested 19 people across the country for allegedly contravening the 21-day lockdown regulations that requires them not to pass the 5km radius from their homes for the next three weeks.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Cabinet also suspended the issuance of birth certificates, national registration identity documents and travel documents and will only be issuing burial orders and death certificates.
The 19 were arrested for several crimes including operating shebeens, public drinking and various traffic offences.
Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe told journalists during a post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday that it was encouraging that out of 14 million people in Zimbabwe, only 19 were arrested, a sign that people were heeding the directive to stay at home to avoid being infected with coronavirus and the possibility of spreading it.
“Our operations are guided by Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020,” Kazembe said, adding that anyone who violates that would be guilty and faces a fine or one year in prison or both.
“The generality of our people stayed at home. Nineteen people were arrested for offences relating to contravening the terms of the lockdown statutes,” he said.
The government said it was also planning to financially assist the informal sector affected by the lockdown.
“We have groups that have been made vulnerable now because of the lockdown, who have lost their income and every Zimbabwean has been affected,” Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima said.
Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said Zimbabwe, just like any other country, was in a war-like situation which necessitated the responses being made by government.
“It is an emergency response and it’s almost a war with an invisible enemy. It is a detailed rescue approach,” he said, adding that the affected in the urban areas were set to get $1 million to cushion them after losing business due to the shutdown.
Zimbabwe has recorded one fatality from eight confirmed COVID-19 cases.