by MERCY MUJURU
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE country’s main opposition has decried the extension of the lockdown against coronavirus (COVID-19) arguing it is worsening the plight of the poor majority.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance arguing the easing of the restrictions accompanying the extended lockdown would favour big business such as mining, manufacturing and commerce, which would be allowed to gradually resume activity.
These sectors are now able to get back to work.
The MDC Alliance said informal activities remain disallowed yet the great majority of Zimbabwe’s population of over 14 million now survives on informal economic activities such as vegetable vending, agricultural produce and clothing selling.
“By admission of the relevant national authorities, 95 percent of the economy is now informal,” Sesel Zvidzai, MDC Alliance Secretary for Projects, Livelihoods and Entrepreneurship, said.
Zvidzai said the opposition alliance had expected some consideration to be given to the informal sector in the revised lockdown.
The official said the bias against the poor and the marginalised communities was evident in the recently announced stage 2 lockdown.
“The lockdown extension will, without doubt, exacerbate the plight of the majority of poor urbanites whose livelihoods are hinged on vending and other informal activities.”
Zvidzai insisted the elderly would be among the hardest hit by the continued lockdown.
“We posit that this is a fight against the poor rather than against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The MDC Alliance nonetheless urged citizens to maintain high levels of hygiene and practice social and physical distancing.
Zimbabwe has confirmed 34 cases of COVID-19. Four people have died.
– CAJ News