Vendors defy lockdown rules

Some vendors in Nkulumane ward 22 are reportedly defying lockdown restrictions as they are selling their wares from undesignated areas. 

This comes at a time when the government has encouraged citizens to maintain social distancing in light of the spread of COVID-19 which has so far infected 24 people in the country.

In an interview with CITE, Ward 22 Councillor Rodney Jele said he had noted with concern that a  number of residents in the ward were violating lockdown regulations.

“We are having a challenge in the ward as some vendors have started selling in undesignated areas, they wake up as early as 4am to park their vehicles in front of other people’s house to sell. Some residents have been complaining about this act,” said Cllr Jele. 

“You find that issues of social distancing will be hard to maintain in such a situation”. 

Councilor Jele however indicated that the local authority’ s task force team is trying to come up with a plan to allow some vendors to resume their business during the lockdown period. 

“The taskforce from the local authority is trying to come up with a plan to allow some vendors to resume their business during this lockdown period, however not everyone will be allowed to sell. We are still trying to come up with logistics so that at least people can be getting commodities,” he said. 

Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) executive director Michael Ndiweni said the plans by the local authority will be a welcome move as vendors are still waiting for the cushioning allowance from government with no avail. 

 “That will be a good move to allow traders to sell, we commend Bulawayo City Council task force if that decision will be formally announced, it will be a welcome move because people are struggling as they are surviving from hand to mouth. A lot of people have lost income,” he said. 

“Sadly some people will not be able to restock because they have already finished what they had saved just for three weeks that have passed and the Government has not given  the cushion fee they keep on saying they are working on it, and this is week four so this is a cause for concern. 

Ndiweni urged the local authority to come up a favourable criteria to select traders who will be allowed to resume their operations.

Contacted for a comment, Bulawayo Mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni said the local authority will announce its position on Monday. 

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