Two bus Crew Members Appeared In Court After Violating Lockdown Regulations
Two bus crew members have been jailed five months after they got arrested by police for violating lockdown regulations. The two were caught while transporting 38 people from Mutare to Beitbridge on Thursday evening last week.
Shelton Matambo (48) and Perkins Mugwagwa (30) pleaded guilty to contravening section 4 (2) of Statutory Instrument 183/2020 – “Public Health Covid-19 prevention and treatment (national lockdown) order: 2020’ when they appeared before Beitbridge Magistrate, Miss Eunice Chimweta.
According to The Chronicle, initially, the two were sentenced to eight months imprisonment before three months were conditionally set aside for five years on condition of good behaviour.
Mr Tariro Makaya who represented the state proved that on January 14, at around 6.30 PM at the 20 km along the Beitbridge-Masvingo highway, an anti-smuggling team made up of Ferret members came across the accused and their bus. The Ferret team is made up of officials from the national security cluster.
The team then stopped the bus and asked the accused persons why they were travelling in violation of curfew regulations and they failed to give a satisfactory explanation.
The State proved that the bus was in turn searched and it was discovered that it had 38 passengers. This however led to Matambo and Mugwagwa being arrested.
This case comes a few weeks after three music promoters were jailed for six months each for hosting a New Year’s Eve gig which breached Covid-19 regulations and was seen by authorities as a potential super-spreader of the pandemic.
The Mbare gig was reported to have been attended by hundreds of people and was organised by Arnold Kamudyariwa, popularly known as DJ Fantan; Tafadzwa Kadzimwe, also known as Levels and music promoter Dammer, born Simbarashe Chanachimwe.
Harare provincial magistrate, Ms Vongai Muchuchuti sentenced them to 12 months in prison before six months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
The trio then approached the High Court where they applied for bail pending appeal in which application the presiding magistrate reserved judgment.