President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe has declared a dusk to dawn curfew, saying the country is facing a surge in coronavirus COVID-19 cases.
Speaking in Harare in an address to the nation aired by the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Mnangagwa urged all Zimbabweans to follow the new regulations, noting that the government will severely punish any person who will violate them.
He said, “All security services must enforce a dusk to dawn curfew daily from 6pm to 6am. Essential services are exempted” from these “urgent and necessary measures which will curtail freedoms from now on that stand suspended and deferred in the interest of our citizens …”
Mnangagwa said businesses are expected to operate between 8:00am and 3:00pm until further notice.
The president also noted that intercity travelling has been suspended due to growing COVID-19 cases in the country.
“All non-working sections of society will be required to stay at home except when seeking food, water and health services. When travel becomes essential, every Zimbabwean must uphold health requirements set out by the World Health Organization such as wearing of masks, observing strict hygiene regulations like washing of hands, social distancing and other sanitization measures.”
The Ministry of Health reports that as of June 20th, 2020, there were 1,713 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 142 recoveries and 26 deaths.
Some Zimbabweans are currently in the process of organizing a mass protest against corruption and Mnangagwa’s government on July 31.
Police have already arrested protest organizer, Jacob Ngarivhume, and prominent journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono, who has been uncovering several corruption activities linked to some top state officials.
Mnangwagwa recently fired his health minister, Dr. Obadiah Moyo, who was linked to a shady deal signed by the government and Drax International for the purchase of COVID-19 materials.
State tender procedures were not followed.
The president’s family has been linked to one of the facilitators of the deal but the government has distanced Mnangagwa and his family from the deal.