Zimbabwe further relaxes lockdown measures, allows informal sector to resume operations


Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Friday the informal sector can now resume operations after spending more than two months under total lockdown.

He said the nation needs to gradually open up and begin working to rebuild the economy battered by drought, sanctions and an economic decline. He was making an address to the nation on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The president emphasized that operators in the informal sector will only be allowed to resume after registration with responsible authorities and that they will be expected to comply with COVID-19 regulations.

“Although our lockdown remains on Level 2, let us begin to further open up, remembering that we all have a role to play. All our people in the informal sector who have not formally registered themselves or their enterprises are directed to do so forthwith.

Once they can prove that such registration has been made, they can resume their operations but adhering to laid-down COVID-19 regulations,” the president said. He said the current rising trend in the number of COVID-19 cases requires the nation to take a more cautious approach in opening up the economy.

The country’s COVID-19 cases stood at 320 including 49 recoveries and four deaths as of Thursday. The country went under total lockdown on March 30 and the measures were relaxed a bit in May when formal businesses and the commercial sector resumed operations under strict COVID-19 regulations.

He said a moratorium on rent payments that was made at the onset of the lockdown had been lifted, with tenants expected to settle their arrears in installments spread over six months.

The president once again thanked Chinese government, local and foreign institutions as well as development partners for their continued support to the country in the fight against the pandemic.

“We have once again received a considerable consignment of PPEs from China. We remain grateful for their solidarity and support,” he said.

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