Source: Chinhoyi traders count losses after Mugabe youth interface rally – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 31, 2017
SMALL-and-medium scale business operators in Chinhoyi yesterday said President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF campaign rally on Saturday had cost them heavily, after they were forced to shut down until after the meeting.
BY NUNURAI JENA
A motor vehicle parts dealer, who declined to be identified for fear of victimisation, accused the Zanu PF regime of failing to separate business and politics.
“That’s the problem that we have as a country. There are people, especially politicians, who do not think about tomorrow, who do not think that we need to survive. Surely, how can they close shops on a day like Saturday, which incidentally fell on a month-end? We are supposed to pay for a lot things like rentals,” he said.
Another shop owner, who only identified himself as Gringo, said only small-and-medium enterprises were ordered to shut down for the rally, while large retail shops were left to operate as usual.
“They force small shops like ours to close because we are small fish, yet they allow big shops, for fear of exposing themselves to international attacks,” he said.
Last Friday, Zanu PF youth in the province went around the city ordering all shop operators to close down on Saturday and attend Mugabe’s rally.
NewsDay saw a truck load of youths, led by Tapiwa Chitate, driving into several business centres ordering shop owners to shut down.
Contacted for comment, Chitate said businesses voluntarily closed shops to honour Mugabe.
“We just provided transport to all those who wanted to attend the rally and some shops owners were among those that were ferried to CUT [Chinhoyi University of Technology] grounds, the venue of the rally” he said.
But vendors said they made brisk business selling refreshments to thousands of Zanu PF supporters at the rally.