LOCKDOWN: Cash payouts for one million households, says FinMin

By ZBC Reporter

THE Finance Ministry has set aside resources to cover one million vulnerable households at a time when the country is on lock down due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement Monday evening, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube said, “Vulnerable groups in our society are the most exposed under this Covid-19 crisis.

“Accordingly, treasury has set aside resources to cover one million vulnerable households under a Cash Transfer programme and payment will commence immediately.”

The minister said some $200 million per month will be set aside for the programme over the next three months.

Treasury has also unfrozen over 4 000 health sector posts and created an additional 200 posts as government scales up its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prof Ncube also said treasury is engaging the Health Services Board and the Public Service Commission with a view to putting in place a comprehensive insurance cover for all Government employees whose nature of work involves direct interaction with Covid-19 patients.

Other key policy measures announced by Prof Ncube include an immediate duty free importation of covid-19 medical related products, channeling of the two percent tax proceeds to mitigation systems, more expenditure to health, water and sanitation and mobilisation of foreign currency for key imports.

Prof Ncube highlighted that the government has also received support from over seven development partners in the fight against Covid-19.

This comes at a time when Zimbabwe is on day 1 of the 21-day lock down announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa as a way of stopping the spread of Covid-19 in Zimbabwe.