Police officers were on Sunday forced to retreat after they were attacked by more than 100 people who reportedly attended a suspected gold dealer’s birthday party in violation of the current lockdown regulations in Nkulumane suburb.
According to The Chronicle fifteen people who were part of the merrymakers have been arrested.
The suspected gold dealer, Ntombizodwa Ndlovu who was celebrating her 36th birthday, is among those who were arrested.
Police swooped on partygoers at around 5.30 PM and the merry-makers attacked them forcing them to retreat.
The police later called for reinforcement leading to the arrest of the 15 who include Ndlovu and her husband.
Confirming the incident, Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said:
“On 24 January 2021 at around 5.40PM, police received an anonymous tip off to the effect that there was an unsanctioned party in Nkulumane at a certain house owned by Ntombizodwa Ndlovu, a female adult aged 36 thereby violating the Covid-19 regulations,” said Insp Ncube.
He said when police arrived, they realised that the gate was locked and they decided to knock and asked to see the house owner.
The request by the police resulted in the accused persons becoming violent.
“The accused persons teamed up from inside and forcibly pushed the gate and attacked the police officers while some of them escaped. Police officers managed to lock the gate using handcuffs and called for a backup” said Insp Ncube.
The backup team arrived and managed to arrest 15 accused persons.
Police recovered a big PA system comprising of four big speakers, one big blue tent and white décor material, four amplifiers, 11 empty crates of beer and two big dishes at the crime scene.
“The arrested accused persons were taken to ZRP Nkulumane where they are detained,” Insp Ncube said.
He bemoaned the behaviour of people at a time when people are succumbing to Covid-19.
“It is disheartening that at a time when the nation is grappling to contain the pandemic, some members of the public decide to be reckless by hosting such parties. Covid-19 has killed a lot of our loved ones and we as the police will not stop at anything to bring to book those bent on negligently defying Government directives thereby spreading the virus,” he said.