Byo residents call for the lifting of Covid-19 curfew

Bulawayo residents have called for the lifting of Covid-19 curfew, which they said it no longer serves any purpose in as far as the fight against the global pandemic is concerned.  

In July, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a night curfew from 6pm to 6am and directed that businesses operate from 8am to 3pm as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

However, following concerns by the business community and the general public, the government then extended business operating hours from 1500 hours to 1630 hours under level 2 lockdown and cut short the curfew by two hours.

The curfew hours under the current lockdown measures run from 8pm to 6am and security forces have been mandated to ensure all citizens comply save for the exempted critical services providers.

Zimbabwe has to date recorded 6497 positive cases of Covid-19, 5221 recoveries and 202 deaths.

Bulawayo residents who spoke to CITE said they felt the curfew was no longer serving any purpose hence the need to do away with it.

“The curfew should be repealed as a matter of urgency,” said Mhlangabezi Ndlovu.

“Curfew will work if transport is readily available. As long as there is no transportation, people will scramble to go home to beat the curfew which defeats the whole purpose of social distancing.”

Under the current lockdown measures only ZUPCO buses are allowed to transport members of the public.

However, the incapacitated ZUPCO is failing to cope with demand resulting in overcrowding at the termini.

“I think the curfew is not serving any purpose; it is actually contributing to the economic meltdown in the country,” bemoaned Takhuleka Ndlovu.

Another Bulawayo resident, Mkhululi Tshuma, also said the curfew should have been done away with by now.

“The curfew must go,” he said.

“It was a political move meant to ward off demonstrations by agitated Zimbabweans over Zanu-PF failures and corruption.”

Social commentator, Methuseli Moyo said: “The curfew is not helpful at all.”

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