BIKITA – A total of 120 informal traders some of whom had been operating illegally prior to the Covid-19 induced national lockdown have now registered their operation with the Bikita Rural District Council (RDC), TellZim has learnt.
The local authority is on a drive to encourage more informal traders to register their operations so as to avoid future inconveniences should the lockdown be fully lifted.
In an interview with TellZim News, Bikita RDC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter Chibhi said council wanted orderly and lawful informal trading going forward.
“We are pleased that a significant number of our people in the informal trade have come forward to regularise their activities. We encourage others to come forward as this is a continuous process allowed as per the SI 136 (Public Health [Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment] [National Lockdown] Amendment Order, 2020, No 10).
“Council is working hard to improve market stalls at Nyika growth point and other business centres to make sure that people do their business in dignity and with decreased chances of contracting the coronavirus and spreading it to others,” said Chibhi.
He warned that the future was bleak for those who fail to take advantage of the existing dispensation to register anybody who wants to get into the informal trade.
“Our desire is to give our people a chance to fend for their families in a lawful manner since things will never be the same even if we are to have a post-Covid-19 era. Council wants to maintain lawful control of informal traders so that we can plan accordingly and be able to provide optimum service delivery as per our mandate,” he said.
He also said those that have already registered were being allowed to do some business at stipulated timeframes with a requirement that they strictly adhere to maximum hygiene standards possible and social distancing rules.
In April, the Ministry of Local Government Public Works and National Housing ordered local authorities to take advantage of the lockdown to destroy illegal market stalls and build proper market places.