BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
TRAVELLERS who were traveling to and from Chitungwiza this morning felt the heat as police officers who were mounting roadblocks demanded exemption letters from them.
The roadblocks were mounted just after and before bridges that cross Hunyani River along Seke Road and Chitungwiza (Machipisa) Road respectively.
@PoliceZimbabwe as I speak there is a roadblock at Manyame bridge, New Chitungwiza Road soon after St Mary's. Police asking for Exempt letters. Vehicles blocked both sides of the bridge. Nothing is moving. I think there sld be clear explanation on this issue of Exemption Letters.
— Musawenkosi (@TafireiD) July 12, 2021
Traffic to town along Seke Road stretched from Chikwanha Zuva fuel station to Hunyani Bridge whilst the traffic along Chitungwiza Road stretched from Taisekwa to Nyatsime Cemetery turn off.
This was despite government’s clarification that exemption letters would only be asked during curfew hours.
A traveller who was getting into Chitungwiza for work from Machipisa told NewsDay that the situation made him arrive at work at midday.
Cops in Chitungwiza put up a road block by St Mary's bridge on seke road causing traffic jam as far back as roundabout to town center. Its so bad people are walking to the bridge to catch transport inenge yapfuura
— MaPhiri♥️ (@miss_sham) July 13, 2021
“I arrived at work at around 12. Can you imagine? It was not easy to pass through the roadblocks. The police (some of high ranking positions) were asking exemption letters and some people were unfortunately turned back home. It was easy for those who opted to walk.I have a feeling that there are other people who were late to work,” said a traveler who identified himself as Enoch.
Road blocks are just a total madness, if scenes from Chitungwiza are anything to go by. People are dismbarking from vehicles, walk past the road block, then stampede into trucks and mshika shikas after the road block. This then defeats the whole purpose of the blocks.
— King Nyax 🇿🇼 (@BNyanhete) July 13, 2021
“I am still thinking whether I should go to work or not because it’s pointless to arrive after 12.”
Another one who identified himself as Tafadzwa who was going to town said, “The situation was very frustrating. Some people were confused on wether the police wanted exemption letters or Vaccination Cards and simply turned back.”
@nickmangwana chitungwiza road block ndeyei nhai every day traffic is now a nightmare apa its early in the morning!!! Please respond.
— nathymue (@nathy_tee_em) July 13, 2021
Some people reportedly walked from Hunyani Bridge to Unit L.
Those travelling on Zupco busses were also spared.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was unaware of the operation, but warned citizens against unnecessary movements to decongest roads.
“I need to find out with the Harare Command what was happening taking into cognisance that we are under Level 4 lockdown. We ned to balance the movement of people and the enforcement of COVID-19 regulations. The police are enforcing COVID-19 Level 4 regulations as pronounced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on June 29,” he said.
“We want to appeal to the public to plan their journeys because it’s not everyone who is driving to the CBD for work. There are some going to town to just roam around. At the end of the day you tend to wonder if they are really conscious about the impact of COVID-19. So there is need to strike a balance. We will engage the Harare Command to take cognisance of the Level 4 regulations. We want to appeal to the public to not congest the roads by travelling for the sake of travelling.”