Businesses in Zimbabwe have said they are fed up with hard lockdowns which prohibit them from operating at full capacity.
The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) has said Zimbabwe may struggle to achieve even 0,5% gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year due to the repeated imposition of hard lockdowns.
In its latest report titled: “2020 Achievements in Retrospect”, the ZNCC appealed to the government to move to targeted lockdowns which allow all formal businesses to remain open rather than blanket lockdowns. The report said:
We will be thankful to the Almighty if we are to post even a +0,5% GDP growth for 2021, with a negative 6% to 9% being our forecast before the economy moves out of the hole in the second half of 2022.
The services sector is becoming the major driver of the Zimbabwean economy and the hard lockdowns we continue experiencing will not do a favour to an economy with almost 61% concentration of the services sector.
We have had enough lockdowns and we have to graduate to smart and targeted lockdowns with all formal businesses expected to remain open whilst adhering to the guidelines of COVID-19.
Zimbabwe first imposed a hard lockdown at the end of March last year to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus which causes the respiratory disease called COVID-19.
After subsequently relaxing the lockdown from mid-2020 onwards, the government reverted to a hard lockdown in January this year to contain a second wave of the coronavirus.
The hard lockdowns are affecting local businesses and this has an adverse impact on Zimbabwe’s already struggling economy.