The country’s established retailers are concerned over the proliferation of street grocery vendors in Bulawayo, that they may put the health of members of the public at risk by selling uncertified goods.
The street traders reportedly flood the streets after 4 PM when most of the people leave town for home.
They sell goods at low prices when compared to large-scale retailers. Some of their merchandise is imported from South Africa and Mozambique while some products are sourced locally.
A customer who spoke to The Chronicle explained the pros and cons of buying groceries from the street. Said the customer:
For instance, Nivea lotion costs $25 at the vegetable market side while it’s $60 in supermarkets. Cooking oil costs $22 here and $26 in the supermarkets.
The only challenge here is that street traders want cash and because it is in short supply we end up going to retail supermarkets for swipe and EcoCash.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president, Denford Mutashu, said that business-wise, they are not fazed by the street traders. Their concern is on public safety. He said:
We implore consumers not to buy perishable goods like poultry products and beef products because we have seen a lot of these being smuggled from Botswana as well as South Africa in Musina.
This poses a great danger because such goods are meant to be stored under favourable conditions.
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