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Police's new lockdown measures nullified by court

by Staff reporter
29 Jul 2020 at 17:08hrs | Views
THE High Court has nullified a decision by the police to announce measures tightening the coronavirus (Covid-19)-induced national lockdown after the Young Lawyers Association of Zimbabwe (YLAZ) filed an urgent chamber application challenging this move.

This comes as the police at the weekend announced a raft of measures to contain and mitigate the spread of the pandemic, among them stiffer requirements for travelling citizens. The measures followed an imposition of a dusk-to-dawn curfew by President Emmerson Mnangagwa starting last Wednesday as the number of Covid-19 cases continued to soar.

YLAZ's lawyer Obey Shava told the Daily News last night that the High Court had ruled in favour of his clients who were arguing that the police had acted illegally and unconstitutionally by assuming law-making powers.

"The court order indicates that the respondents be and are hereby barred and interdicted from acting upon and giving effect to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) press statement issued on July 25, 2020. The respondents are interdicted from demanding the public requirements listed in the press statement by the ZRP on July 25, 2020. "This means that the ZRP had no right to issue the requirements and can no longer enforce such measures," Shava said.

This comes at a time when the country's confirmed Covid-19 cases are close to 3 000, including 36 deaths and 542 recoveries.

Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi at the weekend announced that essential service workers in the health sector would be required to wear uniforms when going to work and also produce their work-related identity cards while those who work in civilian attire would be required to produce a letter from a medical superintendent or chief executive officer (CEO) stating the place, dates and times of reporting on and off duty with contact details of the CEO to be indicated on the letter.

For those who work for companies or organisations, letters from their CEOs or general managers were required, while government and parastatal employees were required to have exemption letters from directors and provincial heads for those working in the provinces.

Commercial A2 and Al farmers were required to produce an offer letter or lease agreement and an exemption letter from a local officer-in-charge, while communal farmers would have to produce a supporting letter from the headman or village head stating the business to be done, the date, time of completion.

At the same time, Nyathi said, food retailers and sole traders must produce certified copies of a shop licence and an exemption letter from the local officer-in-charge of the police station, while security guards must be in their uniforms and produce an ID and letter from the management indicating the contact details of the company CEO.

Source - dailynews