By Staff Reporter

BINDURA -More than 2 500 people have been arrested in Mashonaland Central so far since the promulgation of the ongoing 30 days national lockdown for breaching a number of regulations, the office of the provincial Police Community  Relations and Liaison officer has confirmed to Zimbabwe Times.

“In total we have so far made 2 838 arrests across the province. 1520 people have been arrested for unnecessary movements, 530 for not wearing masks, 202 for wandering during curfew hours and 143 for failing to maintain social distance,” Inspector Milton Mundembe the provincial police spokesperson said.

About 329 were also arrested for operating pirate taxis and intercity transport whilst 114 were nabbed for operating business out of the permitted sectors.

Inspector Mundembe said most of the arrests were made in urban settlements thus in growth points and towns across the province.

He said police will never relapse in their endeavor to bring sanity in communities in order to curb the effects of the deadly Corona Virus that has caused havoc across the country and the world over at large.

He said police is aware that some people are operating shebeens across the province mainly in towns and growth points whilst in communal and farm communities some are still brewing illicit beer, thereby providing platforms for people to mingle in numbers.

“We are coming for them also,” he said.

 Though he said that he was not aware that some officers are extorting vendors and asking for bribes from the same vendors so that they could operate, he said is office does not appreciate such behavior.

In locations such as Chipadze, Aerodrome and Chiwaridzo in Bindura street vendors are operating just like essential services providers, from 0800hrs until 1600hrs and some beyond up to 2200hrs.

 The same is also happening in illegal mining areas such as Kitsiyatota and Makusha whilst the brave ones are going to Ran Mine where they are reportedly paying security details manning there to access ore in the same shaft that “devoured” other illegal miners, still to be recovered, last year.

A senior official in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce who spoke to Zimbabwe Times on condition of anonymity said she was baffled to see some businesses that are neither food outlets nor supermarkets operating freely without any police harassment.

 Meanwhile, more than 50 people have died of Covid 19 in the province since its outbreak in February last year, five of them died yesterday.

The entire province has recorded 1401 Covid 19 cases so far with 964 recoveries and 387 active cases according to the Ministry of Health and Child Care provincial database seen by this publication.

In his speech recently the Provincial Development Coordinator Timothy Maregere urged the provincial populace to religiously follow the laid down COVID 19 prevention measures including observing curfew hours.

He warned hotel and motel operators in the province who are now cashing in on imbibers by virtue of their bars being opened to serve their residents.

Lodges including Coach House Inn and Twin Lodge (Joyno) have of late become havens for imbibers from across the town. Bars at these two lodges are open to the public no matter one is a resident there or not.

 Wearing of masks and social distance is by choice also when at these places.