CROSS-BORDER traders have appealed to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to extend the time-frame of coronavirus (Covid-19) tests.
President of the Cross-Border Traders Association of Zimbabwe (CBTAZ) Killer Zivhu yesterday said the 48-hour window period of Covid-19 tests was too short for traders to do their work.
The former Chivi South legislator appealed to Mnangagwa to issue at least a seven days’ window period.
“We… ask the president… with his minister of Health Constantino Chiwenga… to extend the 48-hour period,” said Zivhu.
“The only place that one can go as far as is Musina and you cannot go to Johannesburg because you will then need another test.
“Honestly, how do you expect a person from Kariba to be at Beitbridge and come back within 48 hours,” asked Zivhu.
Zivhu said he was at pains as over a million of his members had begged him to relay the message to the president.
“They came to me and said, as our president can you go to our national president and ask him to extend the time-frame because we are greatly inconvenienced,” he said, adding that the extension was necessary since Covid-19 has brought untold suffering to them.
“They (vendors) have been idle for six months. Some have failed to send their children to school and university. Some have failed to pay for medication. So, we feel that 48 hours is too short because how will they source for the money and travel in 48 hours,” he said.
In a bid to reduce the burden on cross-border traders, Zivhu recently partnered with a local laboratory to charge a somewhat affordable $35 fee Covid-19 test instead of the $60 being charged by other laboratories in the country.
South Africa is set to re-open its borders today.
However, the neighbouring country has demanded that any foreigner entering its territory should have undertaken a Covid-19 test, which is not older than 72 hours.