Bulawayo Central Business District (CBD) was a hive of activity, Monday, as residents made last-minute shopping ahead of the start of the latest Covid-19 induced month-long national lockdown set to commence on Tuesday.
On Saturday, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Constatino Chiwenga announced additional stiff lockdown measures in response to the spiraling new Covid-19 cases which will witness the return of the 6 pm to 6 am curfew and the operation of essential services.
Zimbabwe, as of January 3, 2021, has recorded 15265 cases, 380 deaths and 11574 recoveries.
In a survey conducted by CITE in the CBD, most shops had run out of stocks towards day end as customers stocked up on groceries.
Supermarkets had winding queues outside as they adhered to the recommendations of allowing a limited number of customers in the shops at a given time.
Driving around the CBD was a nightmare for motorists due to heavy traffic congestion.
Nomusa Moyo, a customer who wanted to buy meat at Texas Butchery along Fife street and 14th Avenue told this publication that she was devastated after finding meat sold out.
“I stay in Pumula South and transport was a problem in the morning. I waited for an hour and a half in the bus queue to get to town. Most people wanted to come to town to get their groceries today because starting tomorrow we won’t be able to come to town without exemption letters,” she said.
Meanwhile, the police have warned residents to adhere to the lockdown regulations.
Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said they embarked on awareness campaigns both in residential areas and around the CBD urging residents to adhere to the restrictions.
Insp Ncube emphasised that only essential service providers and those with valid exemption letters will be allowed into the CBD.
“Residents are encouraged to stay at home in order to curb the spread of the virus. Only those with valid exemption letters will be allowed into the CBD. Also those who will be seeking medical attention or accompanying family members to medical centers will be exempted. However, all these people are expected to have their masks on properly, to sanitise regularly and to practice social distancing,” Ncube said.
“Starting tomorrow we do not expect people to be flooding the CBD. The 6pm to 6pm curfew will be strictly enforced. There will be heavy deployment of law enforcers to ensure that people adhere to the stipulated restrictions. Should anyone require emergency services they can visit their nearest police station and see the officer in charge to get a letter to allow them to get into the CBD.”