Ray Bande Senior Reporter
Over the past week, a huge portion of Manicaland residents have been disregarding the ongoing 21-day lockdown’s regulations as human traffic has notably increased in towns and residential areas.
In her deliberations with high-density business operators during her tour of Mutare to assess the situation on the ground, Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba expressed concern over the increasing human traffic across the province.
“It is unfortunate that people do not seem to realise the reason behind the lockdown measures. Why would someone run away from a Government vehicle? It appears like people are playing cat and mouse with law enforcement agents instead of staying at home and staying safe. When we say stay at home, it is not about the authorities or the Government. It is about your life and your health. Covid-19 is not a joke, it is lethal,” said Dr Gwaradzimba.
The minister also bemoaned the sharp increase in makeshift vegetable stalls in high-density suburbs, most of which are said to be paying licence fees to Mutare City Council.
“We surely cannot run a city in this manner. How can we have such structures in the city?
“I did not know that the city council actually collects money from people operating from these shacks. So how come they (Mutare City Council) do not construct proper structures for the vendors?” she said.
Acting Provincial Development Co-ordinator, Mr Edgars Seenza weighed in, “Surely this is unacceptable. We cannot just watch as this continues. It is a time bomb. Government needs to intervene so that local authorities construct proper structures,” he said.
As the country goes into the third and final week of the 21-day lockdown period, social distancing in public spaces is now being disregarded, especially in high-density suburbs where kids are playing on the streets while adults roam the streets.
In the Mutare’s central business district, securing parking space along Herbert Chitepo Street is now a challenge as motorists drive into town in their numbers, negating the call to stay at home.
President Mnangagwa declared a lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus.