Nelias Shiri, Chronicle Reporter
POLICE Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga has urged members of the public to adhere to the Easter holiday Covid-19 containment measures announced by President Mnangagwa to avoid a spike in Covid 19 cases.
In a statement, Comm-Gen Matanga said all visitors coming into the country must comply with safety and health measures put in place by Government.
He said bars and nightclubs remain closed and there must be no visits to boarding schools by parents.
Comm-Gen Matanga warned criminals who might take advantage of this holiday to forge Covid-19 certificates that the law will take its course.
“The public must note that social gatherings which include churches, weddings and funerals are still limited to a maximum number of 50, wearing of masks is still mandatory and curfew order remains effective from 10PM to 5.30AM,” said Comm-Gen Matanga.
He advised members of the public to make sure that their properties are properly secured as criminals capitalise on holiday celebrations to commit various crimes.
“Those travelling must always ensure that their properties are secured. Please do no to leave keys under door-mates, flower pots or any obvious place. Members of the public are urged not to board mushikashika or unregistered vehicles as they risk being mugged. Above all these vehicles are not licensed or insured to carry passengers,” added Comm-Gen Matanga.
He urged all road users and the general public to observe road rules and regulations and ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy to save human lives.
He warned motorists against speeding, overloading and drinking and driving saying these are major causes of fatal road traffic accidents.
The police commissioner also said police will be working in conjunction with the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) and Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) to ensure the holiday is accident-free through awareness campaigns and blitz on errant motorists.
In an interview, Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Council’s acting director of operations, research and marketing for Bulawayo Mr Ernest Muchena said the council will deploy 15 teams countrywide to roll out educational campaigns, conduct highway patrols and joint operations with the police.
“To ensure maximum safety, traffic safety officers and ZRP members will stop the motorists, keep maintaining the social distance and give a road safety message. Members of our council will be at roadblocks in conjunction with police at Figtree along Bulawayo-Plumtree Road, Emagetsini along Bulawayo-Nkayi Road and Esigodini along Bulawayo-Gwanda Road educating motorists to exercise extra caution when driving,” said Mr Muchena.
He said motorists should avoid travelling at night as most accidents happened at night.
“Driving vehicles under the influence of alcohol and night driving are the major catalysts of fatal accidents. During public holidays like this Easter, people are excited hence the many accidents recorded on our roads,” said Mr Muchena.
He urged drivers to adhere to health guidelines to avoid a spike in Covid 19 cases.
“Overloading passengers in public transport pose a threat to social distancing. So, in the interest of public safety, I’m appealing to motorists to adhere to protocols and containment measures of WHO to ensure that there is enough distance between passengers to avoid easy transmission of the deadly virus. Transport operators should ensure passengers wear face masks always,” said Mr Muchena. — @waydenaido.