Tuesday, 16 June 2020


POLICE are addressing complaints by Bulawayo and Harare residents who were blocked from going to work by security forces yesterday and on Monday.

Yesterday morning scores of Bulawayo residents failed to report for duty after police and soldiers manning roadblocks ordered them to return home.

Many workers had to walk home after being dropped at the different entry points manned by both the police and the army as there was no transport to take them home.

Harare residents faced the same challenge on Monday when they were also ordered to go back home at the roadblocks.

Bulawayo’s city centre which has been a hive of activity during the week since the easing of the lockdown regulations, was yesteday morning almost deserted as very few people managed to pass through the roadblocks.

Most shops remained closed for the rest of the day while a few retail shops opened after 10AM.

Some people who were in bank queues were ordered to go back home, a development which left residents demanding answers as there was no warning of the tightening of lockdown regulations.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the Zimbabwe Republic Police had received members of the public’s complaints. 

“As we speak the Officer Commanding Bulawayo Province and the Officer Commanding Harare Province have received some of those complaints and concerns which are being addressed. We urge members of the public who might face movement challenges, especially those with exemption letters to contact the local police. They can contact the local Officer Commanding District, Officer Commanding Province and if there is no joy, they can contact police Headquarters,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.

He said police had taken note of the concerns raised by residents and in Bulawayo the Officer Commanding Province Commissioner (Patton) Mbangwa is addressing the issue.

Some of the concerns relate to the fact that there is inconsistency in the enforcement of Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

Asst Comm Nyathi said police will in the coming few days release a list of regulations they are enforcing under level two national lockdown.

He said the regulations will incorporate those guiding the informal sector players that President Mnangagwa last week said could resume operations upon registration.

“All checkpoints, all roadblocks have got national guidelines which were communicated to police commanders.
“We expect officers to act according to those guidelines which will soon be availed to the media for the benefit of members of the public.

“If there are any deviations by officers from these guidelines which were clearly communicated and clearly articulated, the public has the right to raise concerns with the command,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.

He said members of the public should, however, note that the country remains on lockdown and only those with exemptions should travel to city centres.

Asst Comm Nyathi said police have noted with concern that people with no business in the city centre continue to violate lockdown regulations. Chronicle


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