By Mukudzei Chingwere
Chitungwiza and Norton residents will only be allowed to travel into Harare City if they can show they are providing an essential service or for humanitarian reasons since the inter-city travel ban now includes all travel between any urban authorities.
A strict definition of the term “intercity travel” was gazetted by Government yesterday as part of the health lockdown regulations.
In a statement last night explaining the implications of the new definition, Permanent Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana said the precise definition of intercity travel now banned access to Harare by residents of the dormitory towns of Chitungwiza and Norton.
“Government has noted with concern that in spite of the ban on intercity travel, some people are still travelling between cities for various non-essential reasons. This has resulted in a worrying surge in Covid-19 cases in the country.
“The public is reminded that under the extended Level 4 lockdown announced by His Excellency, President Mnangagwa on July 13, 2021, intercity travel is prohibited.
“Statutory Instrument 198 of 2021 defines intercity travel as travel between any cities or between municipalities or towns established or deemed to have been established in terms of the Urban Councils Act. (But) it does not include travel ‘between an area under the jurisdiction of a local board and a city, municipality or town that is within the same council area as the local board’.
“As an example, movement between Chitungwiza and Harare or Norton and Harare is considered intercity travel and therefore prohibited,” said Mr Mangwana.
“Accordingly, law enforcement agents will be ensuring that intercity travel will only be permitted for those providing an essential service or travelling for a humanitarian reason such as seeking medical treatment.
“Proof of provision of essential service may be requested at police checkpoints.
“Regarding intra-city travel (movement within a city), members of the public are urged to only leave their homes if they are going to provide an essential service, going to businesses permitted to operate under Level 4, or seeking food or medication within a 5km radius.
“Measures including but not limited to police checkpoints, will be intensified to ensure that members of the public comply with the measures.” The Herald