By Robert Tapfumaneyi
HOME Affairs deputy minister Michael Madiro has said the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers will be arresting all beer outlet owners selling alcohol to patrons in defiance of the lockdown restrictions.
The top government official also said police officers will increase their presence on the roads and monitor escape routes some illegal commuter omnibus crews are using to ferry people into central business districts.
“In the residential areas, you have a situation where there are beer outlets, and it’s a cat and mouse business with our forces whereby if our officers monitor a place and the moment they leave, the owners of those businesses open to patrons,” Madiro told journalists Wednesday.
“You get public transporters who are deliberately circumventing the roadblocks using unorthodox means to access the CBD. However, the police have taken measures to make sure that unorthodox routes are taken care of.”
“However, what we have done is that we have shifted the focus from arresting the patrons to the owner of the business so that they do not supply beer and we will arrest them if they defy the lockdown.”
Madiro added: “Let me also say nowhere in the world would you ever have a successful policing operation without the cooperation of the citizenry themselves and it is critical that our own people must protect themselves against this pandemic. Let me say the police are very much alert and will continue to be vigilant.”
Police reports show in one-week nearly 10 000 people were arrested for not wearing masks since the start of the latest Covid-19 lockdown.