Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
THE Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has noted willful defiance of the lockdown order, hence it is deploying personnel for joint operations with the police to ensure compliance.
The country is under a 21-day lockdown to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 that is ravaging the world infecting more than 1,2 million.
A total of 11 cases including two deaths have been recorded in the country.
Since Sunday, police have been conducting joint patrols with the military.
Yesterday, the ZNA jointly launched an operation with the police code name “Abasha corona” to sensitise the public on the need to comply with lockdown regulations.
The ZNA said the security forces will ensure that President Mnangagwa’s lockdown decree is followed to ensure the nation does not suffer catastrophic consequences due to Covid-19.
The joint ZNA/police campaign saw security forces going to public spots such as market places where scores of people were not observing social distancing.
They also visited most of the western suburbs including Emganwini, Nketa, Pumula, Magwegwe, Gwabalanda, Luveve and Cowdray Park.
In an interview after completing the campaign, Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Tsvangira said the military will assist the police to effectively implement lockdown regulations.
He said it was a matter of concern that the public is aimlessly violating procedures that are meant to protect them from the deadly virus.
“The way we are operating basically, this is a police operation and as the ZNA we are only in support of the operation. What is happening on the ground, it is the ZRP who identify the needy areas and we coordinate our operations. In support of them we always give them staff members from the ZNA so that they go as a joint operation to assist each other,” he said.
“While there are some areas that need to be operating, our population needs to understand that it is only those who should leave their homes for essential services like medical attention or shopping, especially when you want to replenish your food items. things on the ground show that everyone is moving around and we are trying to conscientise them that they should stay at home.
“We are also conducting some joint patrols that encompass the ZNA as well as the ZRP. Our main aim is to ensure that we educate the populace on how to curb Covid-19 which was declared a national disaster. What we are observing on the ground is that it seems, especially at places like market place and shopping areas, those areas have become a challenge because the populace has a tendency of crowding,” he said.— @nqotshili