Zimbabweans have been ordered to stay indoors or risk the wrath of security forces between 6 AM and 6 PM with effect from today, Wednesday 22 July 2020. The directive will be in place until further notice.
Speaking during a televised address to the nation on Tuesday afternoon, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that only those providing essential services are exempted from the curfew. He said:
These urgent and necessary measures will entail curtailing the freedoms we have always enjoyed, and have grown accustomed to.
From now on, these freedoms stand suspended and deferred, in the interest of all of us; indeed, in the interest of our children and our nation which must survive, thrive and prosper beyond this pandemic.
No responsible Government places its citizens in harm’s way, hence my Government will do all it can to preserve and protect the right to life.
Sceptics have, however, questioned the motive behind the curfew, arguing that some countries that have experienced more coronavirus infections than Zimbabwe have not resorted to such drastic measures. Zimbabwe has less than 2 000 confirmed cases.
The curfew has been imposed just 10 days before the planned 31 July anti-corruption protests.
Below Is the Full Text of the new lockdown regulations announced by President Mnangagwa.
1–All non-working sections of our population will be required to stay at home; except for purposes of securing food, water and health services.
Where travel and social contact becomes essential and inevitable, every Zimbabwean should and must uphold the four requirements set out by the World Health Organization, W.H.O., which are:
a–Wearing masks or equivalent protective materials:
b—Observing strict standards of hygiene, including the washing of hands or use of sanitizers:
c—Mandatory screening in all public places and buildings; d—Social distancing in all public places and at all times;
2–With effect from tomorrow Wednesday 22 July 2020, all business premises must operate from 0800HRS until 1500HRS, with the exception of providers of essential services.
3—As of tomorrow Wednesday 22 July 2020, all our Security Services must enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew set to come into force daily between 1800HRS and 0600HRS. Only essential services are exempt from this curfew.
4–All business operations and premises are required to observe and enforce World Health organisation anti-COVID-19 standards which Include observing social distance at workplaces, wearing of masks at all times, regular screenings and strict hygienic standards at workplaces;
5–Only registered SMES which have been allocated workspaces will be allowed to operate, and must comply with the parameters and protocols set by the World Health Organisation.
6–Our food markets will remain open and operational, and must observe set measures, rules and requirements meant to uphold public health. Suppliers to markets should be facilitated to reach the markets, including by our Security Forces;
7—Inter-city/town public transport and inessential transport to all rural areas remain banned.
8–All approved buses and vehicles for public transport should ensure and enforce public health standards, including the screening of passengers before boarding, and the disinfecting of all public vehicles after each round trip;
9—Public gatherings for social, religious or political purposes remain banned. Funeral gatherings remain curtailed, In line with public health requirements.
10–Desertion from places of quarantine by returnees and infected persons, resulting in the exposure of innocent lives to the virus will be considered a criminal act and invite very robust response from our law- and public health-enforcement arms.
11—Anyone who knowingly exposes, aids, abets, or infects innocent persons, whether by breaching conditions of isolation or by encouraging actions which undermine public health measures which Government has announced or undertaken, will be liable, and severely punished accordingly.