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Heads roll at Matapi cop shop over Covid-19 super spreader New Year Eve gig

by Staff reporter
04 Jan 2021 at 19:58hrs | Views
Zimbabwe Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga has suspended four police officers for failing to stop an illegal New Year's Eve concert in Mbare that violated Covid protocols.

The suspended police officers are Superintendent Innocent Makumbe, Inspector Garikai Jiyane [Officer in Charge, Matapi], Inspector Peace Nyarai Gunhe [Duty Officer] and Assistant Inspector Vengai Mupamhanga [Duty Member].

The four officers have been suspended from Police duties pending disciplinary action.

Investigations conducted have revealed that the senior officer and junior members did not perform their duties according to Police set standards and Government's Covid-19 regulations in handling the illegal Mbare musical bash held by DJ Fantan and his associates on 31st December 2020.

Popular Zimdancehall producer DJ Fantan and David House International promoter Boss Dammer have been arrested for organising a Covid-19 super spreader New Year Eve party in Mbare.

Fantan, whose real name is Arnold Kamudyariwa, and Dammer - real name Simbarashe Chanachimwe — were picked up yesterday after a huge public outcry over the large gathering at the gig.

Pictures of the event held at Mbare's Matapi Flats with hundreds of people in attendance despite a ban on gatherings went viral on social media.

National police spokesperson Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests and said the two will appear in court soon.

Nyathi said they are being charged with violating Covid-19 regulations by participating in an unsanctioned gathering which attracted hundreds of people on New Year's Eve.

"We can confirm that…Kamudyariwa (Fantan) and Dammer have been arrested and are currently detained.

"They are being charged for contravening section 5 (3) of the S.I 77 2020, for participating in a gathering in violation of Covid-19 regulations," Nyathi said.

Another 52 people allegedly behind the shindig were also arrested.

On Saturday, police also arrested 200 teenagers in Westgate at a party, adding to the growing number of those nabbed for violating the regulations.

"The ZRP arrested 200 teenagers who were having a party at number 344 Mukwa Drive, Westgate, Harare, in open contravention of the government's Covid-19 regulations. Some of the teenagers are (sic) dead drunk," the police said.

The police said they had also arrested a Watsomba businessman for hosting a family event at a growth point where sungura musician Alick Macheso was hired to perform.

With cases of Covid-19 soaring, the police have noted with concern complacency on the part of the public. They said more than 2 000 people were arrested on New Year's Day for violating lockdown measures.

"Police arrested 2 321 people for violating Covid-19 lockdown measures throughout the country on 1st January 2021.

"It appears people are taking the Covid-19 pandemic for granted and are no longer taking precautionary measures," Nyathi said.

Source - online