47 truck drivers, some, transporting maize from South Africa to Zimbabwe have been arrested for disregarding the country’s Covid-19 lockdown rules by ferrying passengers.
ZRP National Traffic said some of the culprits were fined, while others are expected to appear in court soon.
In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi warned drivers against violating the law.
“Since March 30 to date, a total of 47 truck drivers have been arrested,” he said.
“We are, however, warning haulage truck and private vehicle drivers who are ferrying people between cities, within cities, and even some border jumpers that it is a criminal offence.
“Besides being a criminal offence, this act poses a risk to the Government’s efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Police checkpoints, roadblocks and patrols have been activated to account for such drivers. Haulage trucks should stick to their mandate of transporting cargo from one point to the other. Transport companies are implored to take action against errant drivers.”
Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) said truckers who travel with their girlfriends risked being quarantined and prosecuted.
GMAZ media and public relations manager Mr Garikai Chaunza said in a statement that they had been alerted of the unacceptable behaviour.
“The Government of Zimbabwe has communicated its concerns to us with regards the conduct of most of your truck drivers who tend to travel in pairs with the opposite gender outside the scope of their duties and also carry passengers for monetary benefit,” he said.
“While the country critically requires maize imports to address national food security, the aforesaid conduct cannot be tolerated and condoned as it militates against the national effort in combating the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Mr Chaunza said while the association noted with appreciation the drivers’ continued support in the carriage of white maize from South Africa into GMAZ’s private silos in Bulawayo and Harare, they must adhere to the country’s regulations.