Lockdown: Kwekwe mayor denies inviting army on residents

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By Staff Reporter

KWEKWE mayor Angeline Kasipo has expressed dismay some residents in the gold mining city were not complying with government’s lockdown measures while also denying she invited the army to deal with the culprits.

“As a local authority, our concern is to ensure awareness, prevention and cure,” Kasipo said in a statement.

“…Compliance is generally very low amongst the residents in Kwekwe, not only in the Central Business District but also in residential areas such as Mbizo which is the largest residential area in Kwekwe.”

Kasipo however denied media claims she has invited the army to enforce the measures.

“I never at any time mentioned soldiers, the army or the need to bring in (unleash) the army,” she said.

The MDC official also urged residents to remain alert at a time Covid-19 cases were rising in the country.

“I want to stress out that Covid-19 is a real public health challenge that we have to deal with as a community.

“There is now evidence of local transmission of the disease in this country, it is only a question of time before we have it in Kwekwe.

“All of us are potential carriers and we can cause considerable suffering to our families, friends and neighbours.

“Experience has shown that once it takes root, Covid-19 can be very difficult to manage. Our only hope as a community is to prevent it,” she said.

Meanwhile, a regional anti-graft body, the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) has said corruption in the gold mining town was also playing a major role in acts of non-compliance.

“The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) is receiving tip-offs of police officers (from Zimbabwe Republic Police) who are soliciting for bribes during the mandatory coronavirus (Covid-19) shutdown period that commenced on the 30th of March 2020.

“After receiving the bribes, the police give a blind eye to people violating the Covid-19 regulations.

“Businesses pay bribes to operate outside the gazetted periods. Individuals violating the Covid-19 pay bribes to avoid being arrested.

“Motorists pay bribes to visit town without giving valid reasons. Shebeen operators pay bribes to operate hustle free in violation of the law,” said the NGO in a statement.