At least 200 vehicles have been impounded in Bulawayo under the operation code-named ‘Udingani Etown’ which came into effect last week.
Police in Bulawayo launched a new operation last week to control the movement of people within the City Centre as part of the ongoing 30-day national lockdown to combat the spread of Covid-19.
Observations by CITE on Tuesday revealed that there was still an influx of motorists, illegal foreign currency dealers and even informal traders gaining in the central business district.
Contacted for a comment, Bulawayo police spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube said some of the vehicle owners were made to pay fines.
“We will be happy when we see total tolerance and appreciation of the situation, but here and there people are coming in, but there is now sanity,” said Inspector Ncube.
He said that due to the newly gazetted fines for those who violate lockdown regulations, there has been a change in behaviour with most people adhering to the regulations.
“The other important thing is that, we seeing people now beginning to use face masks properly, a better number is now using face masks maybe owing to the amount of money one has to part when found without a mask, ZWL$5000 is not money you can go about splashing.”
The police spokesperson added that the law enforcement agents, yesterday moved to deploy more officers to deal with the illegal money changers.
“Yesterday we arrested quite a number of them, I don’t have a figure but we had an operation of horses in town, we deployed even horses to do those patrols, we actually feel it’s effective,” he said.
“We actually want to take this opportunity to strongly warn that the amount of fine that one has to pay is not a joke but it’s real, people have to take this serious”.
Inspector Ncube added that the operation will continue until there is compliance.
“We may stop using the name but the arrest and behavior of police officers trying maintain law and order and sanity will continue until there is compliance,” he said.
Inspector Ncube also said the police have started using the newly gazetted fines and warned the public who would want to violate the set regulations that the fines are not negotiable.
“Our message is that the stipulated fines of ZWL$5000 plus for violation came into effect as soon as the government gazette, so people should not think it was just a way of intimidating, it is now effective, people should not violate regulations hoping to pay less money as fines because we are no longer able to pay any less than the stipulated fines by the government.
“The fine is not negotiable, that is inclusive of failing to use a face mask properly, wondering in town aimlessly and failing to maintain social distance, all the regulations that have been set by the government we are enforcing them,” he said