The Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) has warned against a national COVID-19 lockdown, saying it will hinder the recovery that business had experienced during the pandemic.
This follows a call by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) last week for the government to impose a full-scale lockdown to control rising coronavirus infections.
CZR president Denford Mutashu last week called for a total lockdown for 30 days, with a reduction of business operating hours to 8 am to 4 pm for essential service providers and an 8 pm to 6 am curfew.
However, EMCOZ countered saying a blanket lockdown would have a detrimental effect on the economy. It said in a statement:
A total lockdown may compound the problem that we were beginning to see being resolved as business sentiment was gradually becoming positive and bullish.
Our considered view is that a blanket national lockdown with tight restrictions on access to workplaces will reverse the gains in productivity that we had started witnessing in the economy.
EMCOZ recommended extended trading hours to reduce overcrowding in shops but under strict observance of COVID-19 protocols.
The organisation also recommended that private transporters, who show the capacity to comply with COVID-19 protocols, be allowed to operate to reduce pressure on the ZUPCO buses.
The Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe (TBCZ) last week also criticised the proposal by CZR for a national lockdown.