As the Zimbabwe’s economy continue to shrink and unemployment rises to more than 80 percent, more and more people have turned to vending on the streets, causing congestion in many towns across the country.
In what has been termed as a ‘Moonlight Economy’, vendors come out every evening to sell their wares late into the night every day. The sell anything from fruits, clothes, flowers to rat poison.
But the government now wants an estimated ‘six million’ street vendors to leave ahead of by-elections next week and it’s pulling all stops to ensure this, including using military forces to keep people from selling stuff on the streets.
On Monday, the government gave the vendors a seven days notice to move out or face unspecified action. The commander of the Presidential Guard, Brigadier General Anselem Sanyatwe, warned that he will have to deal with vendors that fail to heed the ultimatum.
“I will go into the smaller towns and suburbs and start selling door to door,” one vendor told CCTV Africa, while another said she will not move until she is told where she can get a job.