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Police yesterday encouraged Zimbabweans to comply with the requirements of the national 21-day lockdown that begins today saying failure to do so will result in them being arrested and prosecuted.

This comes after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s national 21-day lockdown declaration to curb the spread of Covid-19. In Zimbabwe, there are seven confirmed cases of Covid-19 with one death.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said those who fail to comply will be arrested by police who will be out in full force.

“The law is very clear, those who don’t comply will be arrested and prosecuted in terms of the laws of the country. The Zimbabwe Republic Police has put in place measures to ensure that police officers are deployed in the CBD and all residential and industrial areas,” said Ass Comm Nyathi.

He listed people in essential services that were supposed to be on duty as being the only ones allowed to be out of their homes.

“What it means is only those with exemptions such as medical institutions, power utilities, telecommunications, waterworks, security services, grocery supermarkets, manufactures of foodstuffs, millers, pharmacies, service stations, accredited media houses, funeral parlours, and city council officials all are supposed to be on duty will be allowed to move around. I repeat they have to be on duty,” said Ass Comm Nyathi.

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He added that social gatherings exempt from the lockdown such as funerals should only have 50 people and below.

“All other services, for instance, those who are going to be having funerals, they should be a record for those funerals. Also, the figure has to be 50 people or less. There should be no gatherings like people frequenting shops, beerhalls, nightclubs and any other places frequented by the public. People have to stay at home,” said Ass Comm Nyathi.

He added that “Those who want to report crime can do so and who can phone can do so on the national number 0242-703631 or the national WhatsApp number 0712800197. We shall avail provincial numbers. This also includes those who would want to report cases in case something happens they can report to the local police,” he said.

“The law will take its course and we encourage those who are victims to come forward and report. But at the end of it all, we expect couples, we expect parents to be exemplary now that it’s a lockdown and schools are closed. Yes, there might be challenges and problems but people should behave responsibly. There’s no need for fighting or engaging in domestic violence or any other form of crime,” said Ass Comm Nyathi.

For individuals who would need medical services, he said provisions will be put into place to help them and they have to communicate with the local police.

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