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The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) has appealed to government to extend trading hours after President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday further extended level four lockdown by two weeks.

Under level four lockdown, retail shops open between 8am and 3pm.

CZR president Denford Mutashu said the confederation was appealing for an extension of operating hours from the current 8am to 15:30hrs, with curfew hours moving from the current 18:30hrs to 6am to 10pm to 05:30am.

He said it was imperative to ensure both citizens and the economy did not die as the country leans more towards enforcing lockdown measures.

“CZR strongly believes that this humble request will go a long way in alleviating the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business as costs have been on an unrelenting upward trajectory,” he said.

The retailers’ group leader also noted with concern the increased customer and vehicle congestion as working hours are coinciding with shops’ closing times.

In its state of the retail sector report issued last week, the CZR said the lockdown measures negatively impacted business through supply chain disruptions and high cost of doing business against low revenues.

It also noted that lockdown measures negatively impacted disposable income.

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