THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has banned churches and other organisations’ traditional night vigils and crossover services ahead of New Year’s eve, saying the country is in a nationwide lockdown.
Religious organisations traditionally hold cross-over vigils on 31 December going into the New Year. Already, some churches have been advertising all-night prayer meetings and cross-over sermons which they say were to commence Friday, but Police have warned that those who proceed to do so will be violating the law.
Zimbabwe is under Level Two lockdown with a curfew in place between 9 pm and 6 am.
ZRP national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said those who congregate in violation of the curfew hours will be arrested and prosecuted.
“People know that we have a curfew running from 9 pm to 6 am which means no gathering is allowed after 9 pm,” Nyathi said.
“Police will therefore enforce the curfew order and anyone who violates it risks being arrested.
“There are no all-night prayers, all-night gatherings, crossover sermons that will be allowed this year.
“Churches should also take COVID-19 preventive measures such as sanitisation when people enter the church, wearing of face masks and social distancing. Churches mustn’t disregard these safety regulations.”
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is winning the battle against the coronavirus as it recorded 605 new cases and six deaths yesterday but 2 237 people recovered reducing the number of active cases to 37 249.
A total of 69 726 people were infected this month and 184 have so far died. In July 58 996 were infected and 1 743 died.
Harare continues to see the greatest improvement as active cases are now down to 5 819 after 594 more people recovered yesterday. It had reached more than 13 000 cases.
Cases in Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West also dropped to 7 516 and 5 497, respectively.
Masvingo now has less than a thousand cases and stands at 981 after 236 people recovered yesterday.
Just over 5 500 people were vaccinated yesterday with 3 219 getting the first jab and 2 372 the second.