Kwekwe Mayor Angeline Kasipo has dismissed recent press reports insinuating that she requested authorities to unleash members of the security forces on unarmed civilians for them to comply with Covid-19 regulations during the current national lockdown.
In a press statement released this Wednesday afternoon, Kasipo said she only highlited that compliance levels were generally low in the suburbs during a recent Kwekwe district taskforce meeting, but did not recommend that security forces be unleashed on the unarmed residents.
State media last week reported that the MDC Alliance mayor had called for authorities to bring in the army in a bid to force residents into complying with the 21-day national lockdown declared by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In turn, Kasipo dismisses the reports as false, saying:
“As a local authority, our concern is to ensure awareness, prevention and cure. It is in this vein that I pointed out that compiliance is generally low among the residents of KweKwe, not only in the Central Business District but also in our residential areas like Mbizo, which is the largest residential area in KweKwe. I never, at any time, mentioned soldiers, the army or the need to bring in (unleash!) the army.”
Read the full press statement below:
To KweKwe Residents,
As you might have heard, On Wednesday, 08th April, there was a KweKwe District Task Force meeting at the District Administrator’s office which I attended in my capacity as the Mayor of KweKwe. One of the matters on the agenda for the meeting was the issue of whether or not KweKwe residents were compiling with the lockdown regulations.
As a local authority, our concern is to ensure awareness, prevention and cure. It is in this vein that i pointed out that compiliance is generally low among the residents of KweKwe, not only in the Central Business District but also in our residential areas like Mbizo, which is the largest residential area in KweKwe. I never, at any time, mentioned soldiers, the army or the need to bring in (unleash!) the army. I was therefore as completely surprised as everyone else the following day to read screaming headlines, “Unleash the amy in Mbizo! Mayor Kasipo.”
Having said this, I however want to stress that Covid-19 is a real public health challenge that we have to deal with as a community. There is now evidence of local transmission of the disease in this country, and it is only a question of time before the disease is here in KweKwe. All of us are potential carriers and we can course considerable suffering to our families, friends and neighbours. Experience has shown that once it takes root, Covid-19 can be very difficult to manage. Our only hope as a community is in preventing it. That is why it is very important to follow the WHO prevention guidelines of:-
Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol based hand sanitiser.
If you cough or sneeze cover your mouth with a tissue paper and immeditely throw it into a bin or cough or sneeze into your fflexed elbow.
Avoid touching your eyes, noise and mouth.
Avoid close contact with people who has a fever, are coughing and/or sneezing and those who have recently returned from countries with confirmed covid-19 cases.
Avoid all unnecessary travel.
Practise social distancing, maintaining at least 1 meter social distance from the person nearest to you. Avoid large gatherings, practise non-contact greetings.
Above all else, stay at home and avoid social contacts for as much as possible because reducing contact between people reduces the number of opportunities for transmission.
We need to work together as a community to fight this monster among us because we all have so much to lose it we follow these measures faithfully, we have a real chance of preventing Covid-19 from taking root and spreading its wings in our city.
I thank you
Mayor Angeline Kasipo