Zimbabwe: Parties Welcome Lockdown Easing

POLITICAL parties in Zimbabwe have welcomed the move by President Mnangagwa to relax the national lockdown saying it will go a long year in boosting the economy.

The parties, that include the ruling party Zanu PF and the country's main opposition party the MDC-T, urged the nation to keep its guard as any form of complacency may result in a third wave.

Zanu PF national spokesperson Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo described the move to open the economy as testimony that the Second Republic is a people-centred Government.

"These things are not done for the sake of it, there are facts and wider consultations and the President relied on facts in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic and found it necessary to open up.

"This is good for the people and the economy. However, people must continue strictly observing the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Ministry of Health and Child Care regulations including masking up, sanitisation, maintaining social distancing and washing of hands with soap," Cde Khaya Moyo said.

The ruling party's youth wing also weighed in saying the decline in Covid-19 infections is testimony to the efforts of Zimbabweans who stood up together against the pandemic under the astute leadership of President Mnangagwa.

"We do, however, appeal to premise owners to shun unscrupulous excessive rent-seeking and give affected SMEs breathing space in terms of rentals and rental arrears accrued during the lockdown period," acting deputy secretary for youth affairs Cde Tendai Chirau said.

"This appeal notwithstanding, we consider Covid-19 an inadvertent, unfortunate state of national disaster, which makes it unlawful for individuals to seek to profiteer on the basis of unproductive rentals accrued during the hiatus."

Cde Chirau reiterated that the easing of the lockdown was not a licence for citizens to stop wearing masks or not practice social distancing or sanitize their hands along with other Covid-19 containment measures.

"We also salute the leadership for the current robust vaccination drive. Vaccination remains a vital part of our progress towards a successful containment of the contagion and advanced easing of lockdown measures," Cde Chirau said.

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Witness Dube also hailed the move.

"Now people can go back to work for production and we urge all Zimbabweans to continue observing the Covid-19 regulations so that we win the war," said Mr Dube.

Spokesperson of the Professor Lovemore Madhuku-led National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) Mr Robert Mhlanga said Zimbabweans must continue to be cautious as the coronavirus is still around.

"Our position as NCA is that the relaxation of the lockdown is an economically good move as the Economy has to move on. Covid-19 might be here to stay, meaning we need to find ways to live with it. Life has to go on even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic," he said.

Bethel Christian Party (BCP) leader Dr Willard Mugadza said the relaxation of the lockdown is a refreshing development.

"This is a good move that has brought back joviality for the general populace and especially the informal sector. Our economy will gain momentum through the informal sector contribution," he said.

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