Zimbabweans say they were ambushed by the announcement lockdown and not given enough time to prepare for the lockdown.
Some Zimbabweans have reacted with shock following the announcement that the country would be placed under a full lockdown in an effort to curb a surge in COVID-19 infections.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also health minister, announced the lockdown banning gatherings and ordering non-essential businesses to be closed for a month on Saturday.
Chiwenga said some of the tighter restrictions were effective immediately and included a 6PM to 6AM curfew and a ban on inter-city travel.
From Tuesday, non-essential businesses will also be suspended.
“People must stay at home save for buying food and medicines or transporting sick relatives,” Chiwenga told a news conference.
The country had recorded 1 342 COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths in one week, the highest to date, he said.
“Only essential services are to remain open such as hospitals, pharmacies and supermarkets, with only essential staff allowed to come to work,” Chiwenga said, adding such services would have reduced hours and be subject to the night curfew.
The Zimbabwean Ministry said on Saturday that all their borders will be closed with immediate effect, except for commercial services only.
Founder of the International Cross-Border Traders Association, Denis Juru, says this decision does not make sense.
“Some of our members were already out of Zimbabwe and there is no way that you can lock them out. He (Chiwenga) never explained whether those that are outside of the country are allowed to come back into the country so it doesn’t make sense. At the same time, we all know that the Zimbabwean economy is dilapidated; there’s nothing working in Zimbabwe, no manufacturing of anything, even commodities. It is only those individuals importing basic goods into Zimbabwe. So there’s no way Zimbabwe can work without cross-border traders.”