COVID-19 curfew regulations, which prohibit members of the public from remaining outside their homes after 1800 hours as part of measures by the government to curb the spread of the pandemic in the country, continue to be flouted by citizens.
This is happening at a time when positive cases of Covid-19 are skyrocketing with local transmission having become more prevalent than ever.
To date the country has recorded 4 395 positive cases and 97 deaths.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month imposed a dusk to dawn curfew, which came into effect on July 22 and remains in place to date, as part of a cocktail of measures meant to control the spiralling Covid-19 infections in the country.
At the time the country had recorded 1713 cases and 26 deaths.
“As of tomorrow Wednesday 22 July 2020, all our Security Services must enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew set to come into force daily between 1800 hrs and 0600 hrs,” said the President in July.
“Only essential services are exempt from this curfew. With effect from tomorrow Wednesday 22 July 2020, all business premises must operate from 0800 hrs until 1500 hrs, with the exception of providers of essential services.”
While for business compliance with the new measures has not been a challenge, the same cannot be said of citizens.
CITE has witnessed Bulawayo residents, who include vendors in suburbs such as Emganwini going about their business at shopping centres even after 1800hours.
Some people have also been seen queuing for water at borehole sites within curfew hours.
Further compounding the problem are ZUPCO buses and kombis which are failing to cope with demand resulting in some commuters getting home after 6pm.
Priston Levison, a Mzilikazi resident, said while people continue to mill around shopping centres, the number was lower compared to what obtained prior the introduction of the curfew.
“People are trying to comply because they no longer flood shopping as they used to do before the curfew was introduced,” Levison told CITE.
“There are also those who would only vacate public places upon seeing the police and soldiers.”
Social commentator, Sipho Nyoni, said human beings by nature were finding it difficult to comply with tougher regulations.
“People being people don’t like or love being chaperoned even after 6pm,” he said.
“There is a large number of people who remain outside their homes. Naturally the human spirit is a free spirit and wants to do whatsoever it pleases in a very tight socio-economic context like the one we have.”
He added: “A 6pm curfew is very difficult to adhere to and adds onto the vacuum of life which is suffocating the masses on a daily basis as it restricts how they can go about earning their living and putting food on the table.”
Over 111 000 people have been arrested countrywide for violating Covid-19 lockdown regulations.