By Staff Reporter
POLICE in Kwekwe Tuesday blocked public access to the Central Business District to try and enforce a government-imposed lockdown order which started last month.
Police Officer Commanding Kwekwe District Chief-Superintendent Denford Maingire said law enforcement agents in the Midlands city took the decision cordon off the CBD to try and block people working for nonessential services from entering the city centre.
“We have noted a lot of non-compliance by the community in Kwekwe. Taking note that Kwekwe has a special lockdown…” said the police boss, adding that the lockdown order was only set to lapse on the 3rd of July.
Maingire said police have been lenient with violators of the lockdown in the past adding that they have decided to stamp their authority after business operators were now going beyond times they are allowed under lockdown regulations to operate.
Most businesses in Kwekwe were closed on Tuesday except for major retail outlets such as Ok, Spar and Pick and Pay and some pharmacies.
Added the police chief, “We thought it wise to restrict movement in terms of closing all services and businesses that do not offer essential services.”
Maingire warned police were going to be tougher with violators of the lockdown measures in the coming days.
“This is not just for today. This has to go on until the expiry of the Statutory Instrument,” he said.
“We also want to give a stern warning to liquor outlets. We have noted that some of them have not been complying, some of them have been operating during the night when police are away.
“We have noted that some are operating Shebeens. We are going to ensure that we take those people to court so that they will be prosecuted.
The police enforcement comes at a time Kwekwe District Joint Operations Command Chairperson Brigadier General Simo Maseko said as of last week, over 200 people were arrested for noncompliance with Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
Kwekwe, with over 50 active cases, has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Midlands.
Minister responsible for the Mitigation of Covid-19 in Midlands who is also State Security Minister Owen Ncube last week urged a provincial Covid-19 taskforce team to be more vigilant as compliance with Covid-19 regulations had been lax in Kwekwe.