Zimbabweans have been ordered to stay indoors or risk the wrath of security forces between 6 AM and 6 PM with effect from today, Wednesday 22 July 2020. The directive will be in place until further notice.
Speaking during a televised address to the nation on Tuesday afternoon, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that only those providing essential services are exempted from the curfew. He said:
These urgent and necessary measures will entail curtailing the freedoms we have always enjoyed, and have grown accustomed to.
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From now on, these freedoms stand suspended and deferred, in the interest of all of us; indeed, in the interest of our children and our nation which must survive, thrive and prosper beyond this pandemic.
No responsible Government places its citizens in harm’s way, hence my Government will do all it can to preserve and protect the right to life.
Sceptics have, however, questioned the motive behind the curfew, arguing that some countries that have experienced more coronavirus infections than Zimbabwe have not resorted to such drastic measures. Zimbabwe has less than 2 000 confirmed cases.
The curfew has been imposed just 10 days before the planned 31 July anti-corruption protests.
It will also be interesting to see how the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO), will be able to transport all workers to their residences before dusk.