Informal traders in Masvingo say they are looking forward to a return to business by the beginning of July, saying further delay will be catastrophic to many families.
Informal traders are amongst the hardest hit group by the coronavirus-induced national lockdown, and have been out of work since end of March.
City of Masvingo has also taken advantage of the lockdown to raze down much of the market stalls for renovations and new planning, but many informal traders feel the process will not help them much.
“We want to go back to work because our families are suffering and there is no respite for us. We had proposed to council that we be allowed to conduct some trade for a limited number of hours at the open grounds close to Mucheke Stadium under strict social-distancing rules but we got no response. How do they expect us to survive?” said Rutendo Shaisanai who used to do her trade at Chitima Market.
Another trader, Fungai Mashandure said 2019 had been the most difficult year for her family and she could not wait for the lockdown to be fully lifted.
“I see they have razed down much of the structures we had put up. The new arrangements will never accommodate everybody when they finally allow us to move back and it means most of our colleagues will not be able to move back. It’s very sad,” she said.
Last month, Masvingo carried out a re-registration exercise for all vendors, and there were many scenes of commotion at Mucheke admistration offices where the exercise was taking place.