- . The review will reopen the economy
- . Will play a significant role in injecting life into various businesses.
Harare – The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers on Tuesday said it welcomes the balanced review of the lockdown by President Emmerson Mnangagwa which focuses on fighting the Covid-19 pandemic while opening up the economy.
Zimbabwe yesterday eased a nationwide lockdown and overnight curfew put in place by the Government in January by allowing businesses to fully re-open following a decrease in the rate of new infections.
This follows South Africa which eased its lockdown by allowing liquor sales under normal trading time and shortened curfew hours from midnight to 4 a.m. after cases in the neighboring country fell despite a new variant that caused mayhem in December and January.
The new variant also caused infections to peak in January and this caused the Zimbabwean Government to impose tighter regulations which saw many businesses closing operations.
In the past two days, Zimbabwe recorded only 45 new infections and no COVID-19 related death.
In a statement, CZR President Denford Mutashu said the measured lockdown extension has eased business operations and CZR is of the strong view that this will play a significant role in injecting life into various businesses.
“The fact that exemption letters are no longer required is a great move towards the smoothening movement of essential service providers and goods and services,” he said.
“Reopening of bottles stores serving only takeaways is sweet news to imbibers and is very strategic in serving operations of breweries and the more than 20 000 bottles across the country whose employees were getting retrenched.
“SMEs and food markets will now open guided by WHO protocols but CZR is of the belief that there is a need for relevant ministries to be proactive and set out these guidelines as more failed to reopen despite the President announcing same in the previous lockdown.”
Going forward, Mutashu said there is a need to operationalize a stimulus package for the informal sector and SMEs who have been closed for a long time as some used up their capital to keep them going during the lockdown, adding that, it is however critical that retailers, wholesalers must continue to adhere to strict Covid-19 prevention measures.
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