Retailers Demand Tough Police Action Against Illegal Traders

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By Alois Vinga

THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) has implored the police to be tougher on illegal traders who continue with their operations in violation of government’s Covid-19 restrictions.

Some unregistered retailers have resorted to selling their wares from mobile trucks and commuter omnibuses.

Tuckshop and bar owners in some high density suburbs in Harare are also in a business as usual mode, selling groceries and beer to unmasked customers while also ignoring the directive on sanitising, temperature checks and congestion around operating premises.

Speaking to Business Monday, the CZR president, Denford Mutashu urged the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to be tough on these unregistered traders to fight the spread of Covid-19 in communities.

“Police should close down the illegal traders’ markets. They should be banned because they risk spreading the virus to unsuspecting members of the public who may be fooled to believe that every business open during this lockdown complies with the Covid-19 guidelines,” he said.

Informal traders have the advantage of not paying taxes as compared to their registered competitors.

Meanwhile, Mutashu commended the formally registered players for operating within the set regulatory framework.

He said the retailers group received tremendous positive feedback from both the retail and wholesale sector in the country for complying with the strict lockdown restrictions amid rising Covid-19 cases.

“In a snap survey carried out by the sector since the beginning of the lockdown, most shops have made sure that the proper wearing of masks is compulsory to employees and customers.

“Most retail outlets and wholesales have ensured that customer traffic into shops is limited to promote social distancing while canteen chairs were reduced and spaced in the process,” Mutashu said.

“Temperature checks at entrances are now mandatory with most retailers putting screen guards at till points to reduce till operators’ direct interface with the customers.”