Zimbabwe Reopens Produce Markets After Protests By Drought-Hit Farmers

Photo: Farai Shawn Matiashe/Thomson Reuters Foundation Farmer Curthbert Chuma, centre, from Macheke and his son MacCuthy sell tomatoes in Chikanga, a suburb of Mutare, Zimbabwe, April 8, 2020.

Zimbabwe has reopened fresh produce markets after pressure from farmers who struggled to sell their harvest under restrictions aimed at stemming spread of the novel coronavirus, Zimbabwean officials said.

Markets including prominent Mbare Musika in Harare and Sakubva Musika in Mutare were closed last week when President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration put the country on a 21-day lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

Zimbabwe has so far recorded just over 10 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and three deaths. Its larger neighbour South Africa has seen more than 1,800 confirmed cases and more than 15 deaths.

To deal with the threat, Zimbabwe has moved to halt many forms of transport and close facilities except for those deemed essential, including supermarkets and state-owned public transport. Read more…

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