A lot of things are not yet clear about the lockdown even though police say they have already arrested 1 500 people for violating the lockdown. One point that has not been clear is the issue of food vendors and farm produce sellers who usually come to town to sell their fresh produce at designated points such as Mbare and Sakubva markets.

Security forces on multiple occasions have sparked outrage on social media by destroying fresh produce destined for the market. They accused these farmers of violating rules of the lockdown. However, the wider public questioned the wisdom of these actions given the fact that most households would need fresh produce in order to sustain themselves during the lockdown.

Now the President has explicitly ordered security forces to allow farm produce through:

Farmers and traders alike must equally continue to deliver produce to markets including to those markets that supply our cities, towns and growth points.

To that end, I direct our security arms to ensure a pathway for food supply. All agricultural activity must remain undisturbed throughout the period of the lockdown. All our producers must continue to feed the nation with minimum hassles.


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