By late Tuesday afternoon, the number of Zimbabweans who had been arrested in connection with violating the extended five-week national lockdown since it started on March 30 stood at 15 545, with Bulawayo leading the pack with highest figures in terms of lockdown defiance.
Details acquired from the Police General Headquarters indicate that in Bulawayo, a total of 3 775 people were arrested for trampling on the incumbent Covid-19 regulations while Manicaland province is closely placed second with 3 137 arrests.
Harare has thus far recorded 1 973 arrests whilst the Midlands province, on fourth position, saw 1 693 people being nabbed for defying the stay-at-home lockdown regulations.
Midlands is followed by Mashonaland West Province where the figure of lockdown violators is pegged at 1 396. The ancient province of Masvingo saw 649 people being arrested in connection with defying the incumbent regulations while in Mashonaland Central, 530 arrests were made.
In Matabeleland South 1 057 lockdown violators were nabbed while Matabeleland North province recorded 733 arrests. In Mashonaland East Province 549 people have so far been arrested while the Support Unit separately arrested 107 people countrywide.
Concerns have been raised that the general citizenry, pressed by agonising economic woes in the impoverished southern African country, has a defiant approach towards set Covid-19 regulations as most households have virtually run out of basic food commodities, rendering most families to food insecurity.
In most urban settlements, vehicular traffic has continued to increase in central business districts as the country’s predominantly informal traders feel hard hit by the extended lockdown declared by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).
A Zwnews staffer on Tuesday witnessed hoardes of urbanites bloated in the Midlands mining town of Kwekwe going about their ussual businesses in the CBD, while state media reported that people were not abiding to social distancing practises in Bulawayo.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi attributed the surge in people getting into the CBD to feeder routes that are used by defiant motorists to evade roadblocks as they try to eke out a living and feed families during the extended lockdown period.
“We are also having problems with vehicles moving a lot at night, and pirate taxis also continue to operate, despite the arrests that are being made across the country,” Assistant Commissioner Nyathi was quoted as saying in the state media.
To date, Zimbabwe has recorded four mortalities due to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic while the number of locals who have contracted the virus stands at 31. President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to announce new lockdown measures when the tentatively stipulated 35 days come to an end on Sunday.
Additional Reporting: Zwnews