Non-essential businesses ordered to shut down

The police noted that some companies are taking advantage of the exemption letters to illegally operate.

The government has warned non-essential service companies and businesses which are operating during the lockdown period to shut down with immediate effect. 

This came out in the latest statement from the police calling out on the misconduct by certain business sectors which are violating the specifications of Statutory Instrument 10 of 2021. 

The SI specifies that essential service sectors are health and energy (ZESA), telecommunications, security, food and energy. 

At the start of Level four lockdown which was affected on January 5, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Constatino Chiwenga noted that all essential services should obtain exemption letters from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce,  granting them permission to carry out their businesses. 

The police noted that some companies are taking  advantage of the exemption letters to illegally operate. 

“It has been noted that some individuals and businesses are now operating in violation of SI 10 of 2021 which barred all non essential service providers to operate during the current lockdown under level 4,” read the statement. 

read the statement.

“Some companies which are not in this category of essential services include Bata Shoe Company, Bhola Hardware, Furniture and Clothing Shops, are conducting business on the strength of letters issued by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and International Trade.”

The statement specified that an Inspector should be deployed at busy roadblocks in big cities so that correct decisions are made and at other checkpoints, a Sergeant or Assistant Inspector should be in charge depending on the level of activities at that particular point. 

police statement

“Commanders should take note that companies and businesses not in the category of essential services but operating should close. This is regardless of being in possession of exemption letters. The guiding principle is SI 10 of 2021 which is very clear on which industry or service provider is exempted from national lockdown,” read the statement. 

“No vehicles should be allowed to pass a checkpoint if they are not in the category of essential. Such vehicles should be arrested or made to go back to where they would be coming from.”

Essential service providers, according to the statement, should be thoroughly screened and should they be needed on duty beyond curfew hours, they should be accompanied by letters stating so.

Funeral gatherings were also pointed as super spreaders of the virus hence strict enforcement of 30 mourners per gathering should be enforced. 

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