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Opinion / Columnist

Govt should treat every business as essential

13 Feb 2021 at 10:27hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) has said there is no business entity within the country which can be considered non-essential, arguing the economy operates as an ecosystem.

The remarks by the business lobby association comes at a time government has ordered some businesses considered "non-essential" to shut down as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 during the lockdown.

ZNCC national vice-president Golden Muoni says all corporates are essential because they are interdependent.

There was no justification at all to classification as "essential" and "non-essential".

The businesses are interdependent on one another because if Mr X is fixing a truck, but is under non-essential. If I have a breakdown, how can that person fix my vehicle when he is under the non-essential category? Does it mean, I have to provide a letter to that person or what?

ZNCC has since been engaging authorities to reconsider their classification of businesses.

What normally happens is that you wake up in the morning with a new pronouncement and because of social media, you just see a message on your phone that says there is now statutory instrument number so and so, which talks about this and that and you are unprepared.

All businesses whether essential or non-essential need to survive.

Non-essential businesses were ordered to shut, there should be a means of helping them not to fold at the end of the day.

There is no business which can be classified as non-essential, but we are saying every business will depend on the other.

If there are those who are "not essential", let's come up with a mechanism of assisting those businesses.

For example in the United States and South Africa, they came up with stimulus packages, where businesses were given money and this money is for their survival after the
pandemic and now we are saying if there is nothing like that, then how are they going to pay salaries for their employees, how are they going to pay their bills and all that?

There must be a mechanism of taking care of the challenges of all business entities from day one until the lockdown is over.

Source - Centre for Innovation and Technology
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