ON New Year’s Eve if one is found on the streets of Bulawayo between 9PM and 6AM, they will be arrested and those driving during curfew hours will have their cars impounded.
Police in Bulawayo said they want the streets to be clear during curfew hours and those found on the wrong side of the law will be arrested and prosecuted.
In the past people used to engage in wild celebrations on New Year’s Eve until the wee hours of the morning.
At 12 midnight fires from firecrackers illuminated the skies while motorists blew their horns to celebrate the start of the new year.
Churches had crossover services running until 12 midnight as they also celebrated the start of the new year.
The world is unfortunately now under a new normal following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic hence the curfew hours which do not allow activities to celebrate the start of the new year.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said they will strictly enforce lockdown regulations which do not allow people to move during curfew hours even on New Year’s Eve.
“On 31 December all roads will be closed to the public from 9pm to 6am so no crossover celebrations are allowed. Anyone who will be seen driving during curfew hours will not just be arrested but his or her vehicle will be impounded. Pedestrians who will be seen walking on the streets will also be arrested,” said Inspector Ncube.
He said all those arrested for violating curfew hours will be prosecuted.
Insp Ncube urged people to stay at home and celebrate the start of the new year with their families.
“We are expecting everyone to comply with the law. Let us celebrate the crossover at our homes with our families. No gatherings are allowed during curfew hours hence we are calling on citizens to confine themselves to their homes,” said Insp Ncube.
Some churches have been advertising all-night prayer meetings, crossover sermons and other activities to usher in 2022 despite the police ban.
The police have said such gatherings will be a violation of the curfew.
Last week more than 100 people were arrested for drinking at bars and shebeens in violation of the curfew hours.
Meanwhile, Insp Ncube said they were concerned with the increase in rape cases involving women boarding pirate taxis.
“During this time we have noticed an increase in rape cases in the city. Most of the victims are women who board unregistered Honda Fits and other private vehicles. Let us avoid such motor vehicles. We have been conducting awareness campaigns urging commuters to avoid boarding pirate taxis,” said Insp Ncube.
He said cases of theft of copper cables were also on the increase and implored members of the public to work hand in hand with the police.
“We urge members of the public to report any suspicious persons in their areas seen near copper cables.
Last month we received a report that a certain motor vehicle with South African number plates dropped a tyre and when members of the public went closer, they discovered that copper cables were stashed in the tyre. Investigations are in progress,” said Insp Ncube.