Zimbabwe: Proposed Lockdown Cushioning Allowance Too Little

A mother homeschools her children in Shamva district, Zimbabwe, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
27 April 2020

Informal traders have raised alarm over delays in the payment of the lockdown cushioning allowances and that the proposed amount is 'too little'.

A statement by a consortium of vendor organisations said they are concerned by lack of information on progress made thus far.

"We call upon government through its relevant ministries to provide information on progress made so far. We also call on government through its relevant ministries to immediately release the cushioning fund as the situation is dire for many vendors and informal traders," reads the statement

The informal traders called on the government to state the amount of money that they are going to receive considering the current prices of basic commodities.

"We also call on government to state the proposed figures that will be disbursed. Press releases have stated that the expected amount is ZWL$200, we would like to state that the proposed figure is very paltry considering the prevailing prices of basic commodities.

"We would like to remind Government that our members are suffering from hunger in their houses and the truth is that there is no food in their houses, our members living with chronic diseases are at greater risk at this moment," said the vendors

The traders said they are aware of the dangers posed by Covid-19 and are ready to honour the government's directive to stay at home.

"Vendors and informal traders are aware of the dangers posed by #COVID19 and we are willing and ready to honour the directive to stay at home during this difficult time as a nation of Zimbabwe & the entire World at large but hunger is now another big disaster in households. We are now receiving cases of domestic violence because families are beginning to have fights due to shortages of food."

Government through the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare said would disburse funds to cushion citizens during the current Covid-19 lockdown with Minister Paul Mavima saying the process is now at an advanced stage.

Fears are that most of the traders will be not able to restock because all their little incomes would have been depleted on food.

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