Zimbabwe’s 21-day national lockdown scheduled to end on April 19 is slowly losing momentum as the government continues to exempt more and more businesses even some that do not offer essential services.
Over 200 small-scale miners, most of them involved in gold production will continue with their mining operations after they were exempted from the stay-at-home orders.
According to Sunday News, a memorandum by the Zimbabwe Miners Federation dated 3 April states that 232 small-scale miners were exempted from the restrictions by Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando. The memo reads:
Notice is hereby given that; The following companies (names supplied) applied for partial exemption from some of the provisions of Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020 (Public Health ) ( COVID-19) ( Health Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) Order 2020 and their applications were recommended by the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) and approved by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development.
Recently, the government allowed farmers to deliver fresh produce to markets across the country to alleviate food shortages.
However, there is chaos at the markets with no social distancing while farmers and traders have no sanitisers, face masks and gloves, among other protective items.
Moreover, citizens spend hours in queues for mealie meal at supermarkets while money changers have started to trickle back to the streets rendering the lockdown more and more an academic exercise.