Written by Alfonso Chavo
The private sector wants to be involved in Mozambique’s National Vaccination Plan, through the import of vaccines and their distribution via private clinics. The Association of Commerce, Industry and Services (ACIS) also says that the new restrictions announced by the President of the Republic are harmful to economic activity.
Addressing the nation last Thursday, President Filipe Nyusi announced a series of measures, which, in general, constrain even further the functioning of commercial establishments, in some cases close schools, and limit a little more the movement of people in cities and towns across the country.
ACIS executive director Edson Chichongue professed himself dissatisfied with the measures, characterising them as suffocating the Mozambican business community.
Chichongue said the reduction in commercial establishments’ opening hours would result in more people visiting them at the same time, “only contributing to us having more Covid-19 cases”.
Reducing opening hours “means reducing the production capacity of companies themselves” thereby reducing income and threatening jobs. “How are we going to ensure the payment of wages for these workers?” he asked.
The Confederation of Economic Associations of Mozambique, however, believes that the new measures are capable of containing the spread of the virus and are therefore justified, not least because “before the prevention measures, companies are being affected by the virus itself,” said Evaristo Madime, Vice Chair of the Private Sector Commission for Response to Covid-19 at CTA.
Madime however argues that it would be better speed up the vaccination process for Mozambicans so that the country could return to normality more quickly, and that the private sector could assist by facilitating sale of vaccines in private clinics.
Evaristo Madime says the prices charged needn’t be “profit-oriented”. The fact is that “the companies have acquired the vaccines and had costs”, and the perspective would be precisely to “support the cost of acquiring the vaccine, and it would never be from a business [profit] perspective”.
In fact, the private sector has already started to cooperate with the government in order to achieve the target of vaccinating 17 million Mozambicans.