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Nearly 800,000 Zimbabweans Arrested for Violating COVID-19 Lockdowns, Other Regulations

FILE - An elderly man, wearing a mask to protect against COVID-19, walks at a rural shopping center in Zvimba, Zimbabwe, June 25, 2021.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police says about 800,000 people have been arrested since last year for violating COVID-19 violations.

According to the state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper, Harare Metropolitan province accounts for most of the arrests with over 236,000 people who were locked up for violating travel restrictions, gathering and failure to wear masks.

The newspaper quoted ZRP spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, as saying police arrested 797,961 people for various offenses related to COVID-19 since March last year.

He is quoted as saying, “Most of these arrests were for offences in relation to the Liquor Act, Road Traffic Act, operating business offences, violating movement restrictions, gathering offences, failure to wear a mask and other offences.”

Bulawayo had 121,168 arrests, Manicaland (98,379), Masvingo (71,263), Mashonaland East (73,861), Mashonaland West (60 895), Mashonaland Central (56,218) and Midlands (39,644), Matabeleland South (23,569) and Matabeleland North (16,123).

Zimbabwe is currently under COVID-19 level four lockdown. Police say more than 4,000 people have so far been arrested for violating regulations since the introduction of the lockdown last week.

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