Clampdown on shebeens, retailers implore Govt

By Liz Dlodlo

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) has lauded the Government for extending operating hours for businesses in line with the gradual relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and called for an immediate clampdown on all shebeens countrywide.

The body’s president, Denford Mutashu said in a statement Tuesday that the illegal drinking holes were a threat to public health in the communities.

He said the Government had done well by carefully re-opening the economy to minimize the spread of the Covid -19 pandemic.

“We thank Government for taking a timely intervention on the matter following submission of an application by CZR to authorities to that effect.

All business stakeholders, consumers, and the general public, while celebrating this move, should, however, remain vigilant in the fight against the invisible enemy, Covid-19 pandemic,” said Mutashu.

He said as a result of the latest move, the re-opening of liquor stores will benefit over 16000 alcoholic beverages outlets across the country.

He added that, the CZR will continue working with authorities, alcoholic beverage manufacturers, sector players and law enforcement agencies to ensure there was religious compliance with set Covid-19 regulations.

Mutashu said shebeens had mushroomed during the lockdown due to the closure of bottle stores and bars.

“These should be shut down immediately as they are now posing a serious health threat to communities.

It is CZR’s utmost plea to retailers and wholesalers to remain vigilant in the fight against this invisible enemy,” he said.

He added that it was important for businesses to price responsibly and apply the formal foreign currency auction exchange rate on their products to protect consumers.

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