Cross Border Couriers popularily known as omalayitsha or malaichas have called on the government to allow them to operate and bring food and other commodities to vulnerable families countrywide, The Chronicle reports.
Omalayitsha mainly ferry groceries and other commodities for families who rely on supplementary essentials from relatives who work in neighbouring countries.
Since the onset of the lockdown, malaichas have been grounded in one place and they are imploring the government to grant them special operating licenses to resume their work.
The publication spoke to 2 couriers who said:
Our work is very important. We provide a service to vulnerable communities who rely on us to bring their goods from breadwinners in South Africa and Botswana. We are appealing to Government to assist us get permits that will allow us to process our goods swiftly.
Big companies like bus companies have already started advertising their services, which were previously offered by us. If the situation remains like this we are likely to be squeezed out of business.
The publication also spoke to a beneficiary of the service offered by Omalayitsha and she said:
I have had my goods brought to me by them since 2008. I’m unemployed and my son who works in South Africa has been taking care of me through omalayitsha, sending groceries and all essentials to me every two weeks. Omalayitsha must be allowed to operate as usual as many families could starve.
ZIMRA, when contacted for comment, said there was no special permit for transportation of goods by omalayitsha.
More: The Chronicle