Harare - Zimbabwe will allow citizens to
access remittances from the diaspora and permit farmers to take
their produce to the market, easing a three-week coronavirus
lockdown that analysts fear could push the struggling economy to
the brink of collapse.
Many citizens in the southern African nation, which has
recorded one death from nine cases, rely on money from relatives
in the diaspora but the lockdown had closed a major source of
Zimbabwe, which faces its worst economic crisis in a decade,
marked by soaring inflation, shortages of foreign currency, food
and electricity, earned $635 million from diaspora remittances
Central bank governor John Mangudya said in a statement on
Monday money tranfer agencies would be allowed to open three
times a week from Tuesday but banks remained closed for any
He said the decision was meant "to allow for the receipt of
foreign currency remittances which cannot be transacted on any
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who ordered the lockdown that
started on March 30, said separately that farmers would be
allowed to sell their produce at the markets starting Tuesday.
Farmers had complained that their produce was rotting on the
farms, leaving them without a source of income while shops were
running out of fresh vegetables.
The easing of the lockdown shows the limitations that most
African governments face as they seek to balance the need to
stop the spread of the new coronavirus and keeping the wheels of
the economy turning.