The Zimbabwean government has reviewed the restrictions meant to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The most noteworthy among the changes is the curfew hours. Now the curfew begins at 20:00 hours i.e 8PM until 06:00 hours i.e 6AM. The curfew which the High Court ruled to be legal on a technicality has proved to be controversial with people questioning its usefulness towards fighting the spread of Covid-19. Security forces have also been accused of bashing people left behind by ZUPCO buses.
Another change is that businesses will now be able to operate from until 16:30 or 4:30 PM instead of the previous 15:00 or 3PM closing time. The law changes might have been prompted by the changing daylight hours. The sun now sets at around 5:50 and the previous 15:00 closing time seemed a bit too cautious and restrictive. It’s not clear whether this is going to make businesses change their operating time as a lot of them had already cut back on operating hours even before the government restriction.
The final noteworthy change is that public transport will now have it’s own lane on roads at roadblock. This would be genius except the country simply doesn’t have the lanes to do this. The government has failed to make people stop behind the stop line at traffic lights. During peak hour we have seen people drive on the wrong side of the road and towards oncoming traffic. Now they are supposed to observe lane rules? This will not work, simple! What will work is the requirement that public transport drivers be regularly tested for Covid-19. Why just drivers though? Hopefully the actual text includes conductors as well otherwise it will be the latest dumb requirement.