The City of Masvingo has been reduced to a flea market which is becoming a cause of concern to the residents who are finding it difficult to walk as streets are now flooded with vendors occupying every corner and space they find.

Vendors have deserted the designated place for them to carry out their business while paying $2 fee per day to the City Council.

The designated place, located at the rear end of the town at popularly known as ‘Chitima’, is believed to be Masvingo’s biggest market place.

Recently, due to poor business that has struck the area as people now access the tomatoes and other farm produces in town, vendors from Chitima descended on the CBD where the business is believed to be somehow flourishing.

Speaking to some of the women who moved from Chitima market, most vendors said that the reason for their relocation was mainly to avoid paying the $2 fine.

‘These days no one comes to Chitima even to ask for tomatoes so we have decided to come to sell our stuff here in town where the customers are and we have an advantage that in town we don’t have to pay the $2 fee,’ said one woman.

‘The problem at Chitima was that we had no customers coming anymore and we ended up working for the $2 fee. We have only been selling in town for two weeks and we’ve realised that we are making a profit,’ said another woman.

However the women revealed that they are willing to go back to the Chitima if the council asks all the vendors to go back to the designated place and vacate the streets.

‘We have talked to the council before but they did not take any action against the vendors who were occupying the city centre, which is why we have decided to come here as well. We are willing to go back to Chitima, we are just waiting for council to send every vendor back to that place,’ the women lamented.

The vendors also echoed the words spoken by the First Lady during her ‘meet the people’ rallies, where she warned the police against harassing and raiding the vendors and cross boarder traders saying they were in line with ZimASSET, the country’s economic blue print.

As it stands the council has not yet taken action against these vendors and the streets of Masvingo are flooded with tomatoes, vegetables, clothes, shoes and every corner has a loud speaker echoing some sort of music as music vendors try to draw crowds to buy pirated music CD’s.



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