The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has urged the government to avail a stimulus package for businesses to keep them afloat and offset the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presenting the workers’ response to the second COVID-19, the ZCTU secretary-general, Japhet Moyo said supporting businesses will protect jobs as some companies are already operating at between 35-40 per cent capacity due to the national lockdown. Said Moyo:
A stimuli package for hardest-hit sectors such as tourism, agriculture and manufacturing will ease the burden.
Since the government already had the Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund, this could be reactivated to support companies in distress as has been done in the past
This facility must be broadened to support the informal sector players taking into account their peculiar circumstances.
Moyo also pleaded for a moratorium or freeze on retrenchments during the lockdown to open up jobs.
He argued that retrenchments would further contribute to socio-economic dislocations.
Zimbabwe imposed another 30-day hard lockdown commencing on 5 January 2021 to arrest an exponential rise in new coronavirus infections.
The numbers have started to come down of late, with only 300 new cases recorded on Wednesday.