Govt introduces rotational work shifts
Harare (New Ziana) – Government employees will start working rotationally from Friday this week as part of wider measures to stop the spread of the deadly Covid-19, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced on Wednesday.
The new work schedule for government workers follows other measures announced on Monday which include closing all borders to non-essential human traffic, banning gatherings of more than 50 people and closing social amenities such as beer halls, night clubs and gymnasiums.
Zimbabwe recorded its first Covid-19 related death on Monday, while two other patients were in hospital.
President Mnangagwa told a Zanu PF party politburo meeting on Wednesday that it was important to reduce populations at work places.
“As from Friday this week, all government departments and ministries will only have one third of their staff at work for two weeks (while) the other two thirds will be home, then after two weeks the other third comes and the other two thirds will remain at home,” he said.
“Businesses are also encouraged to explore creative ways to reduce human concentration at work places.”
At the party level, President Mnangagwa said a scheduled Central Committee meeting had been postponed.
The Central Committee, the party’s highest decision making body between congresses, meets quarterly.
“The practice is that these meetings are held every quarter, hence this politburo meeting would ordinarily be followed by the Central Committee meeting. However due to the prevailing circumstances and measures we have put in place to avert the spread of Covid-19, the scheduled meeting of the Central Committee stands postponed until further notice,” President Mnangagwa said.
“As the party leadership, we must lead by example, by continuing to practice social distancing as we have done. It is in that spirit that we are holding this (politburo) meeting in this hall as opposed to our usual venue,” he said, referring to the larger hall at the party headquarters where the central committee holds its meetings.
President Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans at large to remain vigilant in the face of the deadly Covid-19 disease.
“I continue to appeal to all our citizens to exercise social responsibility. Those involved in the manufacture and trade of essential commodities such as masks, sanitisers among other items are dissuaded from charging exorbitant prices.”
Earlier, civil service unions had called on the government to allow its members performing non-essential services to work from home.
Medical staff, critical in the fight against Covid-19, were exempted from the request.