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Police arrest 31 000 Covid-19 lockdown violators in Bulawayo

By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu

Police in Bulawayo have arrested 31 000 people for violating Covid-19 regulations since the beginning of the month. In an interview, Bulawayo police provincial spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube said most arrests were for violating the curfew, failure to wear masks properly, operating public service vehicles which are not affiliated to Zupco and operating shebeens.

Bulawayo police spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube
Bulawayo police spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube

He said police will continue to enforce regulations and those found on the wrong side of the law will be held accountable.

“As from 1 July we have arrested 31 041 people for violating Covid-19 regulations and 382 vehicles have been impounded. Most of the arrests were as a result of violating the curfew, failure to wear masks properly or not wearing masks completely and operating shebeens.

The vehicles were impounded mainly because they were being used for pirating while not affiliated to Zupco,” he said.

“We continue to urge people to comply with regulations as they are meant to safeguard lives. Those who are not complying are not only placing their lives at risk but the lives of other people as well. As police, we will continue to enforce regulations and those who are caught on the wrong side of the law will be penalised.”

Insp Ncube discouraged people from drinking alcohol in their cars or outside bottle stores. He commended the public for providing police with information about illegal activities happening in their communities.

This comes as police have launched a blitz against pirate kombis and taxis, commonly known as mshikashikas, as part of efforts to intensify the fight against violators of lockdown measures.

Since the start of the blitz, commuters have had to walk to the city centre after being dropped outside the CBD as pirate kombis try to evade police roadblocks.

Recently, rowdy pirate kombi drivers ganged up with some rogue elements and attacked traffic police officers before smashing the rear windscreen of their patrol vehicle.

They also stole a car battery which was in the boot. There has been a worrying trend in many towns and cities of violation of regulations, with vendors back on the streets and some bars and nightclubs illegally operating.

Government decreed that all public transporters in urban centres should be registered under Zupco in order to bring sanity to the transport sector. Zupco has since redeployed intercity buses to urban operations in order to increase its efficiency.

Insp Ncube said transporters operating illegally were putting the lives of commuters at risk of contracting the pandemic by not adhering to Covid-19 health protocols.

He urged the commuting public to desist from boarding kombis operating illegally. The Chronicle

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