The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has banned churches and other religious organisations’ traditional night vigils and crossover services on New Year’s eve.
ZRP national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said those who congregate in violation of curfew hours will be arrested.
Zimbabwe is under Level Two lockdown and a curfew order is in place between 9 pm and 6 am.
In recent days, some churches have been advertising all-night prayer meetings, cross-over sermons to commence on New Year’s eve and spill over into 2022.
Asst Comm Nyathi called on churches to lead by example in respecting the curfew order. He said:
People know that we have a curfew running from 9 pm to 6 am which means no gathering is allowed after 9 pm.
Police will therefore enforce the curfew order and anyone who violates it risks being arrested.
There are no all-night prayers, all-night gatherings, crossover sermons that will be allowed this year.
… Churches should also take COVID-19 preventive measures such as sanitisation when people enter the church, wearing of face masks and social distancing.
Churches mustn’t disregard these safety regulations.
Asst Comm Nyathi implored members of the public not to be over-excited but to adhere to World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID-19 protocols and limit travels and stay at home.