POLICE in Harare have arrested 19 people for illegally opening bottle stores and operating shebeens during the 21-day lockdown.
The lockdown is a principal measure to contain the spread of Covid-19.
President Mnangagwa last week issued a directive for the nation to go into lockdown for 21 days, starting on Monday this week.
To date, eight people have tested positive to Covid-19, and has claimed one.
To ensure compliance, police deployed across the country and on the first day of the lockdown, several arrests were made.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests and urged the public to comply.
“Yesterday (Monday) the police arrested 19 people for defying a Government directive aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19.
“Others were arrested for operating shebeens in suburbs. Others were arrested for opening their bars to the public, drinking in public places while others were arrested for traffic offences.
“Our message to the public is for them to comply with the directive. This is for the best of every citizen.”
He said police also dispersed about 200 vendors in Highfield and 70 others in Chitungwiza.
One person was arrested in Chitungwiza for stoning a police vehicle.
“Meanwhile, police have managed to peacefully disperse about 200 vendors who had forcibly entered into Lusaka Produce Market, Highfield.
“At least 70 people were also dispersed in Unit H, Chitungwiza. While the police were dispersing the crowd, Luckson Rukainga (28) started to throw stones at the police vehicle. He was immediately arrested,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.
He urged the public to take heed of the call to stay indoors.
“Serve for the exempted organisations, we urge all citizens with organisations not listed on the exemptions, to abide by the directive.
“As police, we expect everyone to be disciplined. We need to overcome this challenge together in a peaceful way.
“Those who choose to ignore the directive will be arrested.