Zimbabwe jails three for having New Year’s party despite ban

HARARE, ZIMBABWE (AP) — A Zimbabwean court has jailed three men who organised a New Year’s Eve party attended by thousands of people in the capital, Harare, in violation of COVID-19 regulations at a time the country is facing an unprecedented surge in infections.

The three men were sentenced to 12 months in prison, with six months suspended because they pleaded guilty and did not waste the court’s time.

Zimbabwe banned New Year parties as part of measures to slow the spread of the COVID-19, which is resurging amid signs of complacency by a public not keen on following preventive measures.

Despite the ban, large parties were held in several Zimbabwean cities and towns.

The three men jailed for organising the controversial party attended by hundreds of young people in the capital’s poor Mbare told the court that they had intended to stream the event so people could watch via the Internet, but crowds had gathered anyway.