CROSS border traders have implored President Emmerson Mnangagwa to extend the validity time frame of Covid-19 tests.
Cross Border Traders Association of Zimbabwe president Killer Zivhu said that the 48-hour window period of Covid-19 test was too short to allow traders to successfully horde their wares.
He advocated that it should be extended to 7 days.
“We are down on our knees and we ask the president as his children nicely that him, together with his minister of Health (Constantino) Chiwenga to have a heart for his people and extend the 48-hour period,” said Zivhu.
“The only place that one can go as far is Musina and you cannot go to Johannesburg because you will then need another test.
“Honestly, how do you expect a person from Kariba to be at Beitbridge and come back within 48 hours?” asked Zivhu.
Zivhu said the extension was justified as most of the traders have been idle since the Covid-19 national lockdown came into effect.
“They have been idle for 6 months. Some have failed to send their children to school and university. Some have failed to pay for medication. So we feel that 48 hours is too short because how will they source for the money and travel in 48 hours,” he said.
South Africa is set to re-open its borders on October 1, but the neighbouring country demanded that any foreigner entering its territory should have undertaken a Covid-19 test.
Local laboratories charge an average of US$60 for a Covid-19 test.
However, the association has partnered with a laboratory in Bulawayo which charges US$35 for the Covid-19 test.