WATCH: Vendors, Touts Plead For Time To Hustle Before Lockdown

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By Leopold Munhende

SOME vendors and touts in Harare’s busy Mbare Musika market and bus rank have voiced their dismay over government’s failure to grant citizens a grace period to try and raise money for basic use before announcing a long 30-day national lockdown.

Health Minister and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga weekend announced the tightening of a government lockdown period set to last 30 days.

The period shall see informal traders barred from operating with only workers employed under sectors regarded as essential services allowed to go to work.

The measures are aimed at reducing the continued spread of a pandemic that has witnessed galloping infections in the recent past.

December 2020 alone saw over new 4 000 cases recorded against some 2 500 recorded between September and October same year. took time to visit some of Harare’s busiest areas such as Mbare Musika and its bus rank where vendors and touts regretted the government move.

“This (Covid-19) has always been there, but they were supposed to give us time to look for money.

“The little we had we spent over the festive season; they should have at least given us one week to hustle and run around like the last time,” said one of the touts.

A vendor who spoke to the news crew said the fact that they were coming from the Christmas and New Year holidays meant they did not have any money and such a move by government could leave them powerless in the face of hunger.

“You all know children demand clothes over these holidays and we also travel to our rural homes but at least if the president could give us some time to hustle and find some little money for survival.

“We do not have any money,” he said.

“Corona is there and it is killing people but at least they should have given us a bit of time to look for money to buy food and stuff.”