Mining Sector Exemptions from COVID-19 Lockdown: Motivations and Triggers - Special Report

On April 19, 2020 the President of Zimbabwe announced the extension of the National Lockdown period by an extra two weeks to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the measures that constituted the first lockdown period included banning of gatherings, adaption of social distancing measures and closing of non-essential industries and businesses. What is unique about the two week lockdown extension is that the government relaxed some of the restrictions on the operations of the economy. President Mnangagwa entreated the mining sector to resume or upscale operations during this extended period. This paper tries to unravel triggers and motivations behind Government's move to give the mining sector a full reprieve to operate, risks associated with this move, and recommendations that will ensure that this move achieves positive outcomes.