National lockdown call heeded

Harare post reporters

ZIMBABWEANS have taken heed of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call for a 21 day national lockdown meant to minimise the spread of COVID-19 disease, a survey by Harare Post has revealed.

By nine o’clock this morning, the density of traffic and movement of people in Harare’s Central Business District (CBD) and other surrounding areas was very low.

The majority of the people who could be seen moving around were police details and others exempted from the lockdown.

One police detail who spoke to this reporter said people had generally complied with the President’s directive and that only providers of essential services were in the CBD.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba applauded Zimbabweans for what he termed a good show of maturity and responsible behaviour as there are no signs of coercion to enforce the lockdown.

“Evidence of a self-policing citizenry: I shot these pictures at 0703hrs this morning to check on compliance with lockdown directive by Government. This is Samora Machel Avenue which ordinarily would be teeming with life,” wrote Charamba on his twitter timeline.

“Zimbabwe continues to show maturity in obeying its own decisions in the fight against COVID-19. Together we can beat the menace,” added Charamba.

ZUPCO and Public Service Commission (PSC) buses were seen ferrying workers to work. However, they have reduced their usual carrying capacity by half.

Retail shops such as OK, Pick n Pay and Food World in the CBD were offering services as usual and they were well stocked with basic commodities.

Pick n Pay stores are screening customers for fever. Employees of the retail giant could be seen checking body temperatures of customers as they enter the store.

As for SPAR, it is limiting the number of customers allowed into the shop at once, resulting in smaller queues than normally seen.

At fuelling stations, motorists queued in an orderly manner according to the measures recommended by health practitioners.

“As directed, motorists queuing for fuel keep within their vehicles as directed. We (are) doing amazingly well as Zimbabweans. The President’s expectation is that Zimbabweans drawn from their inner resourcefulness in defeating the pandemic,”  said Charamba.

Meanwhile, information trickling from other areas reveal that the lockdown call was taken with the seriousness it deserves. In Mount Darwin, people have stayed indoors and few people were seen roaming the streets. Only Pachedu and Mega Save shops were opened with minimum staff to offer services during this period of lockdown.

In Chivhu, Victoria Falls, Gweru and Plumtree reports are that people have complied with the President’s directive as only a few were seen milling around.

On Friday, President Mnangagwa declared a national lockdown of 21 days to minimize the spread of COVID-19 scourge in the country which has since claimed the life of a Zimbabwean journalist, Zororo Makamba.

So far, the country has recorded seven confirmed COVID-19 cases out of 194 people tested.