Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Return to homepage  |  Last updated: 14 August, 2020

General Information

Following the declaration by the World Health Organisation of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, a state of disaster was declared in Zimbabwe on the 20th of March 2020.

A “National Lockdown and prohibition of gatherings” was legislated for the 21 day period commending 30 March 2020. The extent of lockdown has been reviewed and revised since then with the latest change taking effect from 22 July 2020 with a 18.00 to 06.00 curfew being implemented and business operations for non essential services, low risk sports and permitted gatherings being restricted to times between 09.00 and 15.00.

Tax measures – Direct and Indirect

(e.g. payment deferrals, rate reductions…)

Click here to see a comprehensive summary of jurisdictional tax measures and government reliefs in response to COVID-19.

Employment-related measures

(e.g. state compensation schemes, training…)

  • Legislation has been introduced to Automatically extend permits of foreign nationals such that the Lockdown period does not count towards their permitted period of stay in the country.
  • The entry of citizens and residents is permitted although this Provided that the responsible enforcement officer at the port of entry concerned must order such citizens, returning residents to be detained, isolated or quarantined in any place for a period of twenty-one days;
  • Legislation has been introduced for employers in the formal and commercial sector for testing their employees and maintaining Covid-19 lockdown rules at their work stations.
  • Effective 1 April 2020 (and for a 12 month  period), it has been proposed that, risk allowances payable to frontline public sector health personnel involved in fighting Covid-19 are exempt from income tax.
  • There has been a proposal to review the maximum allowable deductions on donations by corporates to the local currency equivalent of US$100 000 on amounts paid to the State or to a Fund, including donations, by a taxpayer during the year of assessment for the purposes approved by the Minister responsible for Health.

Economic stimulus measures

(e.g. loans, moratorium on debt repayments…)

  • The government unveiled a ZWL 18 billion Economic Recovery and Stimulus Package aimed at revitalizing the economy and providing relief to individuals, families, small businesses and industries impacted by the economic slowdown caused by the Covid -19 pandemic. The main aim was to provide liquidity support to all the productive sectors of the economy and protect employment through prevention and minimisation of Covid-19 effects.
  • Further extension of the national lockdown due to Covid-19 to level 2 indefinitely. Effective 17 May 2020, companies and the private sector have been allowed to operate upon fulfilling certain conditions e.g. compulsory mask wearing and employee testing at their work places.
  • There has been a further relaxation of Covid-19 lock down regulations such as allowing registered informal traders to resume operations upon fulfilling certain conditions e.g. compulsory mask wearing and employee testing.
  • New lockdown measures effective 22 July 2020; curfew between 18.00 in the evening and 06.00 the following morning, limitation of business hours between 08.00 and 15.00 for non essential businesses and other measures affecting businesses e.g. only registered SMES with allocated workspaces will be allowed to operate, and must comply with the parameters and protocols set by the WHO.
  • Low risk sports and permitted gatherings have also been restricted to times between 08.00 and 15.00. Public are allowed to congregate for as long as they observe the stipulated figure (50 people), sanitising, social distancing, temperature checking and members wearing masks.
  • The Exchange Control Regulations have been amended with effect from 29 March 2020 to allow any person to pay for goods and services chargeable in Zimbabwe dollars, in foreign currency using his or her free funds at the ruling rate on the date of payment. The payment may be done electronically through a foreign currency account or in cash or through any electronic payment platform.
  • The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has delayed the filing deadlines of listed companies to 30 April 2020. All Trading in securities of all issuers shall be done under caution during the Lockdown period and therefore no need for issuers to issue individual cautionary statements. All issuers expected to provide a special trading update by 15 May 2020 including a Statement on the solvency position of the issuer in light of COVID-19 and the Lockdown order on its business.
  • The Securities Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe had extended the audited financial statement submission deadline from 31 March 2020 to 31 May 2020. The Quarterly return submission deadline had also been extended from 14 April 2020 to 15 May 2020.
  • Government has committed to provide assistance of ZW$200 to vulnerable families per month for 3 months effective in April 2020.
  • Government had deferred rent and mortgage payments  during the lockdown period starting from 1 April 2020 however, this right to defer rentals and mortgage repayments was then terminated with effect from 30 June 2020.

Other measures and sources

Main sources of information:

  • Statutory Instruments 76, 77, 85, 87, 88, 89, 96, 110, 135, 136 and 174 of 2020
  • ZIMRA Public Notice Numbers 17 and 20 of 2020
  • Mid Term Fiscal Policy review
  • Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Public Notice 1 April 2020
  • Securities Exchange Notice NOTICE: SS02/04/2020
  • Post Cabinet Briefings

Contact us

Tax: Vinay Ramabhai – vramabhai@kpmg.com