The Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA) has expressed concern over the latest lockdown conditions saying their members had been excluded from the essential services bracket.
While applauding the latest lockdown measures announced by the Government ZCIEA said their members form part of the big bracket of essential services providers as they serve communities.
“Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA), is deeply concerned with the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and devastated by the loss of lives (including informal economy workers and traders) in the world due to this global pandemic. We would like to acknowledge the 30-day lockdown measures as announced by the Minister of Health Vice President Chiwenga to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe.
“However, we have a critical concern on the lockdown condition where certain sections have been allowed to trade and all the informal economy sections have been closed. We feel Informal economy traders have a big bracket of essential services provision at the community level e.g. vegetable market places.” read a statement from ZCIEA.
The organisation said the lockdown measures should have come with a social safety net programme to cushion the vulnerable groups in society.
“We also feel that the 30-day lockdown measures should have straight away moved bi-laterally with a social safety net scheme to cushion the most vulnerable in society. We would want the government to incorporate us as an Informal Economy Organisation in policy and implementation move in the fight against COVID-19 where we concentrate on rescue, awareness, resuscitation, and developmental agenda which has a strong pillar of disaster preparedness to support efforts of the informal economy.”
ZCIEA said their members are still struggling to get their footing since 2020 lockdown measures and called for an engagement with the key arms of the government to participate in the development of the country.