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5 Apr, 2020 18:50

‘We will WHIP YOU’: Police employ no-nonsense measures to force Covid-19 lawbreakers to self-isolate in Zambia (VIDEO)

‘We will WHIP YOU’: Police employ no-nonsense measures to force Covid-19 lawbreakers to self-isolate in Zambia (VIDEO)

Some people just don’t get it when it comes to bans on partying and loitering amid the Covid-19 pandemic — you’ve certainly heard of this type in your country. Zambia’s police just found a “creative” way to force them to comply.

Surrendering freedom — even in the face of a global pandemic — is a difficult thing to do. From the American spring breakers who brought home cases of Covid-19 alongside the usual hangovers and hickeys, to the quarantined Russian who escaped hospital confinement to attend a birthday party, rulebreakers have tested the patience of the law.

In many countries, police have fined and imprisoned offenders, and shamed would-be Covid criminals into compliance.

Also on rt.com Six months in jail for standing too close to strangers? Countries worldwide roll out draconian measures to fight Covid-19

Things are a little different in Zambia. Police Spokeswoman Esther Mwaata Katongo explained during an interview on local television that the nation’s law enforcement officers have been instructed to take harsh measures to ensure compliance with an anti-coronavirus directive that has shuttered all bars and nightclubs.

“Zambian police have whips. So, if you want to dare authorities, if you want to dare the police, then you are welcome,” Katongo said as she brandished a large riot stick resembling a club.

The interviewer later pressed the police spokeswoman about the extreme policy, noting that Zambians have been asking “why [police] have to be so violent.” Katongo explained:

This is law enforcement. We will whip you. You know, to make you comply. We are directed on how to do the whipping. So we are going to whip you… We tell you not to go there, and you go there, we are going to whip you.

But despite what Kotongo would have reporters believe, not all quarantine breachers in the southern African nation are pleasure seekers, sneaking out for a cheeky beer. Commenting on the spokeswoman’s TV appearance, one Facebook user wrote: “You are busy saying stay at home!! How are we going to stay at home without food?? For the people to stay at home, the government should provide food.”

“Think of the poor who have no food on the table, how are they going to survive?” another wrote.

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Accessing food during a nationwide lockdown is easier for residents of wealthy countries. Though the Chinese government imposed a draconian crackdown on the virus-stricken city of Wuhan, delivery firms and even robots brought food to peoples’ doors. Italians too could order groceries online. In Zambia, where only 14 percent of the population has access to the internet (and only a third have access to electricity), leaving the house to get supplies is essential. But now they may be facing a not-so-pleasant choice: hunger, or the whip.

Zambia has one coronavirus-related death and 226 confirmed infections, according to Johns Hopkins University. Globally, there are now over 1.2 million registered cases of Covid-19, with over 67,000 related deaths.

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