Police reduce lockdown roadblocks

Police have reduced the number of roadblocks along the city`s major roads during the ongoing lockdown period to focus on crime prevention.

The lockdown was effected to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The police roadblocks controlled the number of people who access the Central Business District (CBD) with passage granted to essential services workers and residents with exemption letters while those without were turned away while thousands have been arrested for violating lockdown regulations.

In an interview with CITE at Bulawayo Police Spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed police had reduced the number of roadblocks to fight crime.

He, however, said residents had to appreciate that the lockdown was for their good and should comply to the regulations.

“We want to believe our people appreciate the lockdown and practice self-constraint.  We are looking at the community, as Zimbabwean people, who don’t need to be pushed around to conform to the law so they can protect themselves against COVID-19.

“We urge the public that despite the lesser numbers of roadblocks, people should not say there is no lockdown. Those who are supposed to stay home should remain there and those who want to go into town must have reasons,” Inspector Ncube said.

Inspector Ncube added use of masks was mandatory as ordered by the country’s leadership.

“Social distancing is also mandatory, it’s a requirement. We also wish members of the public to understand and appreciate the extent of dangers poised by this pandemic. Those that defy or fail to comply with regulations would surely be arrested but we expect our people to practice and follow guidelines that have been laid down,” he warned.

Inspector Ncube said police had other pressing roles such as concentrating on crime prevention, protecting people and property.

“If we take all the manpower to roadblocks to monitor people and ask ‘why are you coming into town’ we will be shifting focus. People should not shift police concentration from protecting life and property to guarding them.  

“We want all of us to participate and cooperate in the COVID-19 situation so police can widen investigations, crime preventative measures, as well as monitoring because surely we cannot have police officers going to every queue in a shop or bank to enforce social distancing. Let us enforce those things ourselves and we as police we wish to come in only to assist. May everyone become a police officer by behaviour,” he said.

The provincial police spokesperson encouraged residents to continue assisting with police in maintaining order.

“In as much as you are giving us information on criminals and other concerns, (continue doing so). Yes, we are receiving a lot of reports from concerned people, such as Cowdray Park per se, where residents continuously report, they phone us to say ‘people are gathered here’ and we attend. Let us all become concerned citizens so we survive this pandemic,” Inspector Ncube urged.

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