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School head jailed for conducting lessons during lockdown

A PRINCIPAL at Apex College in Nyanga and three teachers were last week jailed for opening a school and conducting lessons, while more than 5 000 have been arrested for violating lockdown restriction measures in Manicaland since January 5.

The quartet, Maxwell Marombedza (56), Timothy Nyagadza (59), Tinashe Tsara (31) and Allan Musakanda (36) last week appeared before Nyanga magistrate, Ms Annie Ndiraya, charged with opening an educational institution to learners not exempted during national lockdown as defined in Section 4 (1) (e) of the Statutory Instrument.

The quartet was ordered to pay $50 000 each or spend six months in jail after another six months were wholly suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.

Mr Tafara Chawatamba prosecuted.

The court heard that Marombedza, Nyagadza, Tsara and Musakanda, on January 13, were found conducting face-to-face lessons at Apex College in Nyanga with 12 non-examination class learners who are not exempted from attending lessons during national lockdown.

The four were teaching one Form one, three Form Two, two Form Three and six incoming Form Four learners.

The register which was used by the quartet to endorse attending lessons and to record their temperatures was recovered at the scene and was used as an exhibit in court.

Officer Commanding Manicaland Police (operations) Assistant Commissioner Johannes Chinembiri Govo revealed yesterday (Thursday) that a number of operations have been rolled out across the province to curb rampant violation of lockdown restrictions.

“We have noted with concern that there are some sections of the society who are not taking the Covid-19 restrictions seriously. There is unnecessary movement and pirate taxis are still operating ferrying people across towns.

“This is coming to an end as we are rolling our strict measures to ensure that people comply with the law. We will constantly monitor roadblocks across the province to ensure that our officers are complying to given directives. Some people are not taking curfew seriously and we have heightened patrols to ensure compliance,” said Asst Comm Govo.

Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Luxson Chananda, said the lockdown violation offences are categorised in eight classes.

He said in Mutare, a total of 29 people were arrested for failing to comply and having liquor at undesignated places, while 548 were nabbed for flouting road regulations.

91 were arrested for illegal business operations. 1 539 people who could not account for their movement were arrested, while 1 205 people were nabbed for not putting up face masks.

During the on-going enforcement exercises, a total of 802 people were arrested for random criminal nuisance.

Inspector Chananda encouraged people to maintain social distancing and adhere to Covid-19 regulations. – Manica Post 🔺

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