9 November 2018
Charmaine Chasweka and Nyengeterai Dingana
DRY food vendors in Mbare have remained defiant vowing to continue selling their produce at a ZUPCO rank in Mbare.
Harare City Council instructed the vendors to move to a place called Tsiga, just a kilometre away from the terminus but the vendors argue that the place was not conducive for their business.
One of the vendors, Calvin Homodza, said that they could not move to Tsiga as it is not as favourable as the terminus is.
“I am a maize vendor and I have been selling here at the terminus since 2000.
“The city council once instructed us to move to Tsiga but we couldn’t as there are a lot of tobacco vendors in are hence we cannot mix tobacco and maize because tobacco smells a lot.
“Another problem we had with Tsiga was that there was no toilet thus there is no way we could conduct business in such an area.
“We had also been asked to pay five dollars per day at Tsiga which we found not worthy since the place does not even have toilets,” said Homodza.
The vendor went on to say that as dry food vendors they had no problem paying rentals had they been allocated proper structures.
“This is a ZUPCO rank as you can see but I can tell you that we have never had any clashes with ZUPCO because there hasn’t been many ZUPCO buses for years now.
“However if they decide they do not want us here anymore we have no choice, we will leave.”
Homodza said trading at the terminus hadn’t been easy since the place was exposed to a lot of things.
“These are a lot of bags and there is no way I’m going to carry them back home every night so I just leave them here like everyone else does.
“Yes there is someone who we pay to guard our bags every night but it is still not secure enough.
“There have been cases of theft, it’s inevitable.
“We are now entering into rainy season and it’s a difficult season as we risk making losses by keeping our bags here.
“We try to cover them by tents but we all know mvura imvura inongopinda chete.
“We are just trying to make a living and if we had option we wouldn’t be here.
“As vendors we are appealing to the city council again that they should do something for us.
“We do not mind having a place we call ours and we pay for it, a place that is conducive for the products we sell,” he said.