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Covid-19, ban on gatherings threaten used clothes business in Bulawayo

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

THE business of selling used clothing in Bulawayo remains under threat after city health authorities have maintained they will enforce a recent government ban on public gatherings in excess of a hundred people.

The ban was imposed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa Tuesday in attempts to minimise chances of a coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Addressing journalists in Bulawayo Friday, Bulawayo City Council Divisional Environmental Health officer, Patrick Ncube said council will not allow more than 100 people at the popular second-hand clothes market along Robert Mugabe road.

The council has allocated second-hand clothes vendors selling bays corner 8th avenue and Robert Mugabe Street. The vendors sell their goods during weekends.

At any given time, the vendors and their clients exceed 100.

“We cannot have more than 100 people there,” Ncube said.

“I know it will be difficult to implement but we are working closely with security agencies on this issue.”

Police on Thursday also issued a statement insisting they were going to enforce the government ban on public gatherings.

Second-hand clothes selling business is now a source of income for a number of informal traders in Bulawayo and other cities.

The clothes are also affordable to many struggling Zimbabweans.

Following the outbreak of COVID 19, some residents have also expressed concern over the source of the clothes.

The used clothes are shipped to Africa from European and Asian countries in giant bales.

A lot of European and Asian countries have been affected by coronavirus.

There are fears that the clothes may also be contaminated with a virus that has killed more than 10 000 worldwide and infected over 200 000.