Cabinet noted with concern the upsurge in the use of unauthorized passenger-carrying vehicles that are not affiliated to ZUPCO on the roads and has instructed responsible authorities to carryout surveillance with a view to curbing the development.
Addressing journalists during a Cabinet briefing yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa noted that Covid-19 regulations were hardly being followed in these vehicles.
“Social distancing and other COVID-19 measures are hardly being observed by passengers in these vehicles. In order to curb this development, the Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID), the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the Traffic Safety Council (ZTSC) are enhancing surveillance and enforcement.
Kombie operators were given the opportunity to register with ZUPCO if their vehicles were roadworthy and they were prepared to operate under ZUPCO, but some have continued to defy the orders.
The pirate kombies are not adhering to the stipulated health guidelines, putting passengers at risk as they are not checking passenger temperature when getting into the kombies nor are they being sanitised.
The Minister emphasised that all beer halls, bars, pubs and nightclubs remain closed.
“Bottle stores should strictly open for takeaways, as required by the law. Restaurants are expected to continue to be open for 50% sit-in capacity, takeaways and deliveries. Cabinet approved that the operating times for the restaurants be extended to 2100 hours,” said the Minister.
In light of the general lack of compliance to COVID-19 regulations by citizens, Minister Mutsvangwa said the Law and Order Sub-Committee will step up surveillance and enforcements, including community engagement on the risks associated with such complacency.
Meanwhile, the Minister advised the nation that the Provincial Education and Health focal teams have been successfully trained for the COVID-19 response in schools with each province having developed a plan for implementation of enhanced Infection Prevention and Control, Surveillance, Risk Communication and Community Engagement.
“It is envisaged that compliance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be enhanced and buttressed by the standardized approach to the management of outbreaks in schools,” she said.
As at 3 May, 2021, Zimbabwe’s cumulative COVID-19 cases stood at 38 293, with 35 647 recoveries and 1 578 deaths. The recovery rate stands at 93%, with 36 533 of cases being attributable to local transmission. There are 1 073 active cases.