FIFTEEN people who were part of more than 100 people who attended a suspected gold dealer’s birthday party on Sunday in violation of lockdown rules at a house in Nkulumane suburb where police officers were attacked, have been arrested.
The suspected gold dealer, Ntombizodwa Ndlovu who was celebrating her 36th birthday, is among those who were arrested.
Police have identified 15 others who are on the run.
Police swooped on party goers at around 5.30PM 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 more than 100 people attended the party in violation of the strict Covid-19 regulations announced by Government early this month.
He said when police officers got to the scene, the suspects became violent and attacked them.
“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 said the following people are still at large: Rosemary Mpala (31), Rhoda Ndlovu (59) both of Nkulumane suburb; Babra Kamanga (34) of Cowdray Park another woman also named Ntombizodwa Ndlovu (28) of Nkulumane, Brady Tshuma (29) of Nkulumane, Zanele Makiwa (30) of Lobengula West, Doubt Dube (38) of Lobengula, Gazi Tinashe (34) of Lobengula, Tshabangu Artwell Nqobile (41) of Nkulumane, Knowledge Mpumelelo Mhlanga (34) of Nkulumane, Ndlovu Nkosikhona (34) of Nkulumane, Dube Courage of Nkulumane, Eric Khumalo and Tracy Candy Nyathi both of Nketa and Brendon Sebata (32) of Khumalo suburb.
At the crime scene, 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.
“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.