Business has welcomed new lockdown measures announced by President Mnangagwa on Monday, describing the regulations as the best under the circumstances to rescue businesses.
Zimbabwe, as is the whole world, is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic that has claimed millions of lives, disrupted people’s way of life and businesses.
Government has, as a result, been forced to implement restrictive measures as a means to curtail the spread of the deadly virus that continues to kill people.
On Monday President Mnangagwa announced a new set of measures, which saw business hours being extended from 8am to 3pm to 8am to 5pm.
The new measures also allow some businesses not in the essential services sector to resume operations, albeit under strict measures among them testing of employees according to World Health Organisation regulations.
It is against this background that business has commended Government for the manner in which it has dealt with the situation.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR), the umbrella body that brings together retailers and wholesalers, said the measures announced by President Mnangagwa answer to the submissions it made to Government recently.
“The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) wishes to thank His Excellency President Mnangagwa for a balanced two weeks extension of the lockdown,” said CZR president Mr Denford Mutashu.
“CZR had kindly proposed to Government for the extension of business hours and reduction of curfew hours, which has duly been accorded in the latest statement.
“The extension therefore observes the need to continue fighting the pandemic, while strategically supporting and protecting the economy.
“CZR, however, continues to urge business to support Government in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic through financial, material and moral support,” he said.
Mr Mutashu’s sentiments that the new measures are in sync with what business had asked for are proof that Government is operating per its economic development blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
Under NDS1, with which Government seeks to foster rapid economic growth until the attainment of an upper middle income economy by 2030, private sector input and private sector led growth are key pillars.
In another interview, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Takunda Mugaga, said the new measures are a continuation of the exceptional manner in which Government is dealing with the pandemic.
“The new measures are quite an excellent intervention and I think if you look at them and the circumstances, there is surely nothing else you can ask for,” said Mr Mugaga.
“If you also look at the expectations that were abound and the manner in which Government has managed the situation, then you will note that they have been really on top of the situation.
“We are also happy with the new directive that says anybody who wants to operate and are not in the sectors that were already operating should do tests.
“I think for now what remains is for industry to come on board and support the vaccination programme so that we can effectively deal with the pandemic,” he said.
Right from the start when Zimbabwe announced its first lockdown in March last year, Government has been careful enough to make sure that key sectors of the economy are not disrupted but at the same time saving lives.