Over 2 000 vehicles have been impounded by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and motorists fined for lockdown violations in Bulawayo as some people continue to defy the stay at home measure put in place by the government to minimize the spread of coronavirus.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube, while addressing journalists at a press briefing yesterday, said the vehicles were impounded after motorists were found driving aimlessly.
Inspector Ncube said the motorists would only get their vehicles after clearing their cases, including traffic offenses and pending cases with municipal authorities for parking tickets.
He said 120 vehicles were impounded in 24 hours, between Wednesday and yesterday morning.
“As we are on lockdown level two, we have realized that there is a lot of defiance and motorists think the Covid-19 lockdown is for pedestrians only, not realizing that whether you fly, you drive, you walk or sail, this virus can still affect you and you can be a carrier and infect others.
“It is worrying that people are disregarding the rules that have been set for their own safety. We, therefore, call upon motorists to abide by lockdown rules as well.”
“Some of the impounded vehicles already have pending cases and some defects so even after paying their fines, they will still have to clear their pending cases, like driving without a license or for instance city parking tickets. This lockdown period does not override other traffic regulations,” he said.
He said there was a problem of public service vehicles that were not under the Zupco scheme who were now illegally servicing routes and not even maintaining social distancing in the vehicles.
Inspector Ncube said another area of concern was the cross-border vehicles, especially South African-registered Toyota Quantums used by omalayitsha who are stuck in the country due to the closure of borders and have resorted to plying local routes, yet their permits do not allow for local public transportation.