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Mnangagwa eases lockdown

by Staff reporter
13 Jun 2020 at 09:12hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday announced the lifting of the moratorium deferring payment of rentals and mortgages during lockdown with tenants expected to settle their debt in the next six months as the Government gives the informal sector the green light to operate.

The President in April signed into law the Statutory Instrument (SI) 96 of 2020 Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Deferral of Rent and Mortgage Payments During National Lockdown) Regulations, 2020 which deferred payment of rentals and mortgages without the risk of being evicted, disposed from land or sued from May until the end of the lockdown.

Giving Covid-19 update statement at State House in Harare, the President said as more Zimbabweans go back to work, focus should be on improving the economy while the Government delivers its promises.

President Mnangagwa said between his last update and yesterday, there has been a spike in the number of positive cases which require a more cautious approach in relaxing the lockdown restrictions.

"All our people in the informal sector, who have not formally registered themselves or their enterprises, are directed to do so forthwith. Once they can prove that such registration has been made, they can resume their operations. "Upon resuming their work, they are compelled to adhere to the laid down Covid-19 prevention requirements, such as the wearing of masks, washing or sanitisation of hands and social distancing," said President Mnangagwa.

He said gathering for purposes of worship must remain at a maximum of 50 and in full compliance with all the Covid-19 prevention measures while urging people to travel only when it is absolutely necessary. "The moratorium on rent payment, made during the early phases of the lockdown is hereby lifted. Rent arrears can be settled in instalments spread over a period of six months," said President Mnangagwa.

He said as Zimbabweans continue returning to work, focus should be on recalibration and revamping of the nation.

"Let us recall that Zimbabwe was in the midst of deep and broad reforms. We were reforming distortions which have bedevilled our economy for decades. We were reforming the old, creating the new, and building stronger foundations for a more prosperous Zimbabwe.

"We began to reform our economic landscape as well as our political space and media space; by removing antiquated laws and opening up new channels for dialogue and debate," said President Mnangagwa.

"Unfortunately, just as Zimbabwe was opening up both internally and externally, we were forced, like much of the world, to close. To close our societies, to close our markets, to close our borders."

President Mnangagwa said the freedoms promised at the outset of the new dispensation must once again be felt across the whole of our society while the creation of jobs and commitment to new opportunities for our talented youth tops the Government's agenda.

"We cannot and will not allow the period of Covid-19 to appear in our history books as anything more than a mere hurdle which we jumped over along the path to prosperity," he said.

He said the Government will work twice as hard to improve lives of Zimbabweans.

"It is time to accelerate our development. From the pains of the pandemic, we must now find new impetus in rebuilding. The liberalisation of our economy must continue in earnest. This includes the privatisation of bloated state industries which must now be expedited. Investment commitments must now be turned into tangible jobs. Our creative people must be allowed to grow and prosper.

"Reforms, stuck in the wheels of bureaucracy, must be unleashed, catalysed and implemented. The time for action is now. However, as the workforce is slowly released from a painful lockdown, let us remember that we are not returning to the old normal, but to a very new normal which must cause each and every one of us to rethink our lives. How we communicate, how we do business, how we meet and greet, and how we protect the health of our neighbours, our family, and indeed ourselves," said President Mnangagwa.

"In this new normal, we must be vigilant. We must not rest. The virus is still with us. It has neither disappeared nor been destroyed. It has neither vanished nor been vanquished; it lives among us. So please act with caution. Wear a mask at all times when you are outside your homes."

President Mnangagwa hailed the Government for steering the economy through tough times.

"Droughts, cyclones, a global economic downturn, in addition to a pandemic which the world had not witnessed in a century. These are hardly the conditions in which to implement tough spending cuts and deep structural economic reforms," said President Mnangagwa.

"But we have no choice. If we do not reform now, we will continue to drown in debt or peddle along in mediocrity. Zimbabweans deserve better. Zimbabwe deserves better." President Mnangagwa said the country is grateful for internal and external support in the fight against Covid-19.

He said the country has received another consignment of PPEs and other materials from China.

"We remain grateful to His Excellency President Xi Jinping, and the Government and People of China for their solidarity and support.

"I would like to applaud and congratulate the African Union, through the AU Bureau, for the innovative tech-driven strategies that have been developed to ensure equitable and affordable access to all materials related to the prevention and fight against the Covid-19," said the President.

"We further commend the continued calls by the African Union member states for the lifting of sanctions against our country."

He said united in peace and harmony, Zimbabweans will overcome the scourge of Covid-19.

Source - the herald

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