Yesterday the government waited until the last minute before they announced that they had resolved to extend the current lockdown for 14 more days. Nominally as things stand the lockdown will end at 3 May 2020. The extension was met with anguish and discontinuation by the informal sector which has been decimated by the lockdown.

Although some members of the informal sector such as money changers have found ways to survive under the lockdown most players have been left exposed. Most vendors cannot go out as people (their customers) are not allowed into the CBD for example. Kombie operators are also still grounded.

Handouts not received

Most of these businesses do not have savings which means an extension might just see them starving. Despite promises in state media most of these people have not received the promised handouts that they were promised. In fact we do not know of anyone who has received even the promised paltry $200 ZWL ($4 USD handout).

The process of receiving handouts itself has been as with all things government opaque. We know for a fact however that people in various suburbs were made to fill forms. The required details included ID numbers, phone numbers as well as a slot for lost income. Confusingly multiple versions of these forms were being circulated by various individuals.

Some intended beneficiaries have started blaming corruption. Their reasoning, if the government says money has been sent out and they haven’t received it then it can only mean one thing, unknown corrupt intermediaries must have intercepted this money.