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Armed Robbery Victims Face Arrest Over Lockdown Breach

Boundary Express bus crew is facing arrest by the police over breaching lockdown regulations after the passengers aboard the coach were robbed at gunpoint Monday night between Mvuma and Mushagashe tollgate.

More than 40 passengers lost their goods and cash amounting to more than US$15 980, R31 340 and $2 510.

Some of the people were hospitalised at Masvingo General Hospital after they were stabbed by the gang who commandeered the Beitbridge-bound bus.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the crew was driving at night, in breach of COVID-19 regulations which prohibit movement between 10pm and 5am as the country continues to fight the third wave of the coronavirus.

“The Beitbridge Border Post is still closed for the public and there is no need for people to board such buses.”

There have been several reported cases of bus crews smuggling travelers through the Beitbridge Border post to South Africa, despite the strict manning of the area.

Asst Comm Nyathi said it was worrying to note that some of these operators were also assisting smugglers, among other criminal activities. The police had intensified measures to curb violations of national lockdown regulations as COVID-19 cases continue to rise alarmingly.

The infection rate surged by 127% to 1 239 cases this week compared to 544 cases reported the previous week.

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This has prompted the government to impose more localised lockdpwns.

Addressing the media yesterdat during a post-cabinet brief, Information Minister, Monica Mutsvagwa  said border posts, especially Forbes, Chirundu and Kariba, tobacco auction floors and people’s markets such as Renkini in Bulawayo, Mbare Musika in Harare and Sakubva in Mutare, as well as the Hwange population would be priority areas for vaccination to reduce the effects of the virus.

She said the situation in hotspots of Kariba, Makonde and Hurungwe districts had hardly improved, with Kariba recording two deaths, Hurungwe 10, and Makonde five as at June 20.

As the cases surge, Mutsvangwa said government was in the process of procuring two million more doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine, which were expected in the country by month end.

“Furthermore, 500 000 doses of vaccines are expected to be delivered this Saturday June 26, 2021,” she said.

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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