DEFYING Government’s directive on wearing face masks yesterday proved costly for a Harare man who was fined $500.
The Government recently announced that the wearing of masks was now a legal requirement.
In terms of new health regulations gazetted on Saturday, those who fail to wear masks in public face punitive action or imprisonment of up to one year.
After the gazetting of the new law, police warned people against violating the law.
Unfortunately, Munashe Katsande (27) became the first one to be arrested under the new law.
He was caught walking along Prince Edward Road in Harare without wearing a face mask.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrest.
“Yes, I can confirm that Katsande was arrested by officers for walking in the streets without wearing a face mask. He has since been fined $500 for the offence.
“We continue to urge members of the public to adhere to this measure. We are there to enforce it and as we always say, police will not hesitate to arrest those who choose to disregard the lockdown measure,” he said.
Meanwhile, the number of people arrested for disregarding the lockdown measures has increased to 20 450.
Asst Comm Nyathi said police will continue to arrest until there is total compliance across the country.
“We continue to call members of the public to comply with the COVID-19 lockdown measures. There are still those who are conducting businesses without exemptions. Some are still engaging in unsanctioned gatherings which include conducting church services, parties and drinking beer during the night. Some are still operating shebeens.
“Some are still attempting to travel without exemption letters while others are going out to public places without wearing masks. All those will be arrested and we will be very strict until there is compliance,” he said.
He said no one will be allowed to pass a police checkpoint without proper documentation.
“People should prove where they are going. We appeal to exempted companies to give their employees letters stating that they offer essential services.”