Drinking binges worry Minister

Staff Reporter
Amid an escalation of Covid-19 cases, the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Kazembe Kazembe says his ministry is concerned with bars, night clubs, restaurants and other business entities that contravening Covid-19 regulations.
In a statement today, Mr Kazembe said he was pleading with public figures and musicians to lead by example in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
His statement follows the sentencing to an effective six month jail term of top music producers DJ Fantan and Levels, who organised a New Year’s eve party in Matapi Hostels, next to Matapi Police Station, in contravention of Covid-19 regulations.
“I have directed to Commissioner General of Police to ensure that the law takes its course on any individual, syndicate or business entity contravening Covid-19 regulations. There is no need for anyone to grandstand,” said Mr Kazembe.
“I am equally disturbed by some shopping centres in some areas in the country which are now known for wild parties, beer drinking binges and all sorts of illegalities. This should stop forthwith,” the minister said.
He said police officers would move around all suburbs, shopping centres and even check houses to account for transgressions against Covid regulations and other criminal activities.
He urged the public to report to any nearest Police Station, individuals or groups holding parties or musical events or any other gatherings not sanctioned under COVID-19 regulations. Organisers of such events will face the wrath of the law and risk loosing their licences.
The Ministry has also noted with concern, that despite funerals being allowed a maximum of 30 people, this limit is being disregarded by many. Citizens are urged to observe this regulation. Any violation of this requirement will meet the full wrath of the law.
“My Ministry strongly condemns acts of misconduct by police officers which tarnish the image of the Government and the Police in particular. The widely circulated social media clip of a police officer who allegedly struck a baby with a baton stick in Harare on 4 th January 2021 is a cause for concern.
Investigations conducted by the Commissioner General of Police revealed that the incident occurred along Sam Nujoma Street [formerly Second Street], Harare near Bindura bound Commuter rank when the police officers were trying to arrest a kombi crew which was picking passengers at an undesignated point and contravening COVID-19 regulations.
The child and mother were hit by fragments of the smashed windscreen and taken to West End Clinic where medical experts established that the child had no injuries and the life was not in danger. I have directed the Commissioner General of Police to take stern action against these and any other errant police officers.
“My Ministry does not condone the smashing of vehicle windscreens or windows by police officers. The Commissioner General of Police has assured me that this message will be cascaded to all Police Commanders for the conscientisation of their members.
“On the other hand, I urge social media activists to be responsible and verify facts before jumping to conclusions. A case in point is that the said officer who was alleged to have hit the child and the mother did not hit them at all, neither did the child die.”
He said while the police and other security agents would do their utmost to enforce the regulations it was everyone’s responsibility to stop the spread of the pandemic. “We should not wait for the police to come and force us to wear a mask so as to save our own lives. Let us not travel unnecessarily. Let us stay home. Let us stay safe,” he said.

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