Police in Bulawayo have impounded 140 vehicles including pirate taxis and a bus from Botswana, for defying the lockdown regulations meant to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the second phase of the operation, ‘udingani Etown.’
The vehicles were impounded in a one-day blitz on Thursday.
During lockdown, members of the public are supposed to be confined to their homes and may only leave to buy basic necessities at a supermarket, food retail, fuel or gas at a fuel or gas retail outlet within a radius not exceeding five kilometres or the nearest establishment if those within the radius are closed.
Government imposed a 6pm to 6am curfew on 2 January as part of lockdown measures to curb the spread Covid19.
Under the lockdown restrictions, owners or drivers of the vehicles are liable to prosecution and no public or private vehicle is allowed to proceed beyond checkpoints and roadblocks without authorisation.
In a media briefing at Ross Camp yesterday, Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said the operation implies that all motorists that are coming into the city centre are stopped at checkpoints by traffic policers to check the purpose of going to town,
He said unauthorised vehicles will be impounded.
“All vehicles coming into the city centre are stopped at checkpoints for the purpose of verifying their movement. A total of 140 vehicles were impounded including pirate taxis that are violating lockdown regulations and as result we came up with an operation code ‘udingani Etown’, as a result the vehicle owners are supposed to pay fines,” he said.
“People who are going to be found in unauthorised vehicles risk being charged as they are also failing to comply with the lockdown regulations,” said Insp Ncube.
Inspector Ncube said members of the public are expected to shop within a 5 kilometre radius from their homes while essential service employees will be allowed to pass through checkpoints after producing exemption letters.
When Chronicle news crew visited Ross Camp, the 140 cars were parked at an impound lot while owners queued to pay fines.
Inspector Ncube warned members of the public to avoid unnecessary movements as they risk being arrested and contracting corona virus.
Police have arrested 3 236 more violaters of Covid-19 national lockdown regulations countrywide bringing to 389 944 the total number of people nabbed since the beginning of the lockdown on March30 last year.
Out of those, 1 756 people were arrested for unnecessary movements while 997 were arrested for failure to wear face masks. The arrests were made of Wednesday.