Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Two bus crew members who are employed by a South African bus Company, Mulaudzi Bus Services were today jailed for eight months for violating the national lockdown regulations which prohibit inter-city travel and movement during the 6pm to 6am curfew.
Shelton Matambo (48) and Perkins Mugwagwa (30) were busted by the police while transporting 38 people from Mutare to Beitbridge late on Thursday evening last week.
They 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.
Matambo and Mugwagwa were left with five-months effective to serve after three months of the jail term were conditionally set aside for five years.
Prosecuting, Mr Tariro Makaya said on January 14, at around 6.30pm at the 20 km along the Beitbridge Masvingo highway, an Anti-Smuggling team made up of the 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 beyond curfew regulations and they failed to give a satisfactory explanation.
The bus was in turn searched and it was discovered that it had 38 passengers, thereby violating the rules restricting inter-city travel.
Matambo and Mugwagwa were subsequently arrested.
The case comes a few weeks when 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 trio includes; Arnold Kamudyariwa, popularly known as DJ Fantan; Tafadzwa Kadzimwe, also known as Levels and music promoter Dammer, born Simbarashe Chanachimwe.
Scores of revellers attended the cross-over gig which was held in Mbare, Harare.
Harare provincial magistrate, Ms Vongai Muchuchuti sentenced the accused persons to 12 months in prison. DJ Fantan and the crew were left with an effective six months to serve. They applied for bail pending appeal at the High Court and judgment has since been reserved.