Industry players have said they have lost hope of accessing the $18 billion stimulus package promised by the government given the time it has taken.
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) vice-president Golden Muoni told The NewsHawks that industry players have not yet received the money. Said Muoni:
There is nothing, we haven’t seen any drop of that. Last time when we had a meeting we did ask Finance minister Mthuli Ncube over that and he told us that he will talk to the banks but nothing came up. I think it was just for public relations (purpose) because no one has benefited and no one has been given that money.
There is no money, there is nothing whatsoever. In real terms, there is no money. I think the government has other things which they want to attend to. To say there is someone who has benefited, I would be lying. So, it’s each man for himself, God for us all. There is no dollar, there is no cent and now given that this lockdown is continuously being extended, there is now more need for that money.
Victor Nyoni, chief executive officer of the Association for Business in Zimbabwe (ABUZ), said the fact that very few banks were participating in the programme made it difficult for companies to access the fund.
These remarks are made when the government has withdrawn COVID-19 cushioning allowances saying communities are now self-sufficient after the country recorded a bumper harvest this year.
Finance minister Mthuli Ncube last year said Treasury had set aside $600 million in financial support over three months for small businesses and vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19-induced lockdown.
However, the disbursements have stopped.
Many local companies face closure as the pandemic-induced lockdowns made it impossible for them to continue operating sustainably.
More: The NewsHawks