Zimbabwe will be on lockdown for 21 days from March 30 to suppress the spread of coronavirus, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has announced.
The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ), chairman Tafadzwa Musarara has directed millers to stop supplying mealie in the CBD immediately and make deliveries to residential areas only in preparation for the lockdown.
In a letter directed to millers, Musarara also revealed that rental payments accruing during the period under lockdown will be suspended while workers’ salaries will be cut. The letter reads:
LOCKDOWN IS IMMINENT
1. Millers have been DIRECTED by Command Centre to IMMEDIATELY STOP supplying maize-meal in CBD FORTHWITH. All deliveries to be made to RESIDENTIAL areas only.
This applies at a NATIONWIDE scale. This is a SECURITY directive to avoid stampeding of consumers as they queue in the CBD, where the numbers are high during the day. Please OBSERVE this ORDER.
2. LOCKDOWN is now imminent, and the following considerations have been made;
a) Manufacturers of sanitary ware, bottled water, bread, sugar, maize meal, rice and pharmaceutical will be allowed to continue operating.
b) All informal shops to be closed down. Only formal shops to be opened and operate 4 hours/day.
c) Arrangements are being made to provide transport services for employees of industries mentioned in (a) above. You are all encouraged to advise your employees to stock-up their basic household food commodities and other necessities.
d) Rental payments accruing during the period under lockdown will be suspended! This moratorium will apply to both residential and business.
e) Employers and employees to negotiate a salary cut for the period under lockdown.
You are URGED to plan accordingly so that the country maize meal requirements are met during this period.
The country needs you! GMAZ NEC supports this initiative by the Government to deal and eliminate the plague.
We now await for His Excellency The President to give formal and detailed direction in this regard.