Zimbabwe has cancelled all weddings for the next two months as the country takes drastic preventative measures to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The cancellation of all weddings was announced by Chief Justice Luke Malaba on Monday. The announcement comes a few hours after broadcaster Zororo Makamba became the first coronavirus death in Zimbabwe when he died on Monday. Makamba was the second patient to test positive for the coronavirus.

The ban on weddings is part of the new preventative measures announced by Chief Justice Luke Malaba. The Chief Justice also announced a suspension of all trials and non-urgent court hearings.

Below is the full statement from the country’s Office of the Chief Justice announcing the new preventative measures to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Following the public notice and pronouncements by His Excellency the President on COVID-19 protection measures the Chief Justice now directs that the following measures will apply with immediate effect at all courts;

Trials and non-urgent hearings must be postponed for a period not less than two months except urgent matters, bail application and initial remands.

  1. All weddings are cancelled. Parties may approach the courts for rebooking after a period of two months.
  2. No hearings will be done in chambers.
  3. In instances where hearings are held, these should be confined to parties involved in case the case and their legal practitioners. Those not involved in the case are discouraged from attending or coming to court.
  4. All surfaces at reception areas, registries, courtrooms and areas of potential risk should be regularly sanitized and fumigated as may be necessary.
  5. Members of the Judiciary Services Commission at courts, legal practitioners and litigants attending court sessions are required to;
  • a) Be sanitized at the court entrance when going and outside the court.
  • b) Maintain a distance of at least two meters from the next person when attending court or registry offices.
  • c)Disinfect any immediate surface area with the disinfectant and paper towels made available in court.
  • d)Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water or rub your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizers for at least 20 seconds.
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