Vendors resort to late night shifts

via Vendors resort to late night shifts 01 November 2014

VENDORS in Harare who are against the paying of levies to the city council have resorted to selling their goods during the evening peak hours at bus termini in the central business district.

The vendors told that the one dollar and three dollar levy demanded by the Harare City Council was exorbitant given how much they make a week in sales.

The vendors said their profit margin for some of their wares range between 0.05 cents and 10 cents meaning they need to push huge volumes to raise the required levy before they start making a profit.

“The decision by the City Council to tax us is quite harsh considering that we are struggling to survive in a tough environment that we find ourselves in,” said Amai Shone.

“The people who put us in this situation are the same people who want to milk us again through their so called tax.”

The vendors said they were tired of cat-and-mouse games with the Harare municipal police who sometimes confiscate their wares.

“If I continue to lose my goods what will I use to order new stuff again?” said Mucha at Copacabana bus rank.

“So it’s better that I sell during the night when the police have gone home and will leave around 10pm or when workers have all gone home,” she said.

Another vendor who requested anonymity said: “Mavendor tawanda zvekuti kutengerwa inyasha, saka tinotoshanda kusvika pakati pehusika mufunge (We are now so many and one would be very lucky if your goods are bought in a day).”

The vendors sell wares that range from electrical goods, cell phone accessories, vegetables, sweets, cigarettes and pirated CDs and DVDs.

As Zimbabwe’s economy continues to slide, most people who have lost their jobs have been left with no choice but to battle to survive on the streets.

A report by the National Social Security Authority says that close to 60 companies have closed since the beginning of this year resulting in about 9 500 workers losing their jobs. The majority of these workers are now selling their wares on the streets.