Zimbabweans will this year celebrate the New Year’s Eve indoors following a police ban on unsanctioned parties, use of fire crackers, skidding of vehicles, beating and overturning of bins and drums in residential, business and other areas in line with Covid-19 regulations.
In a statement, Wednesday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi reminded members of the public that the country was still under Covid-19 national lockdown, adding all regulations put in place by the government for health, safety and security were still in force.
“No all-night prayers, musical galas or concerts are allowed. Bars, beer halls and night club operators should take note that they are yet to be allowed to operate,” said Nyathi.
“The public should remain peaceful on 31 December 2020 and act in a responsible manner to curb crime. Children, especially the girl child should be monitored and protected from criminal elements,” said Nyathi.
Meanwhile, speaking during a press conference today at Ross Camp, Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube, said they had reversed all applications for holding all-night prayers and cross over parties around the city.
“Tomorrow during New Year’s Eve, there is a law that came out, I know there are some people who had already applied to do all-night parties, all night prayers known as cross overs, it happens by mistake you were given the go ahead by your local station but today Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi in Harare explained that by the government’s law there won’t be all night prayers or gatherings,” said Inspector Ncube.
“As such people are warned to not have gatherings. If you want to celebrate, do that as a family. When I am saying family, I mean two or three families can gather in one place, that won’t be a gathering”.
He said consuming alcohol in vehicles was prohibited.
“Bottle stores under Covid-19 regulations are allowed to sell alcohol from 8:30 to 16: 30 hours, but without anyone consuming alcohol in the premises and as police we are not expecting to find any people in groups or in vehicles consuming alcohol,” said Inspector Ncube.
“When arrested they (people) should not point fingers to the police because they would have applied for that. People should ensure that even though it’s a New Year’s Eve tomorrow, they still have to live next year.”
He urged people to avoid criminal activities that would affect them as they cross over into 2021.
“Unfortunately, some people will enter the new year in a mortuary, some without legs, some having criminal records and in jail, some will be running away from the police, but a normal person should take heed of our call now. Let’s enter the New year safe without criminal records and scars,” he said.
“Let us stay put, it’s just but one day. I don’t think the year will fail to be January 1 because someone did not dance or get drunk.”
Ncube said law enforcement agents would be deployed in different areas around the city known to be drinking spots.
“There is White House in Nkulumane; it has been reported that people are drinking alcohol illegally in that place. We got all names of these areas, we will put deployments there, let us be all safe,” he said.
“Also, the issue of thieves, around 6th Avenue, 9th Avenue and Jason Moyo; there are now thieves going around seizing people’s luggage, people should be aware, but as police we are not folding our hands. Police have been deployed in many areas, some of them are not even in uniform,” added Ncube.