An association representing informal traders has bemoaned the exclusion of vendors when the government permitted industry and commerce to resume operations under the relaxed coronavirus lockdown regime.
In a statement on Sunday, Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VICET) director Samuel Wadzai castigated the decision to bar vendors from resuming their activities. He said:
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It is really saddening that we were left out despite the fact that we contribute more to the economy now than some of the sectors that have been allowed to reopen.
We had hoped that the government would consider allowing vendors to also open, but with stringent conditions to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Control mechanisms should have been put in place because as it is now, despite the attempts to save lives, vendors will lose theirs to hunger as they have nothing to eat now.
Opposition MDC Alliance secretary for projects, livelihoods and entrepreneurship, Sesel Zvidzai, also condemned the move, saying the lockdown extension will worsen the challenges faced by the majority of poor urbanites whose livelihoods depend on vending.