Villagers from Bulawayo’s nearby peri-urban areas have invaded the city’s high-density suburbs, driving donkey-pulled scotch carts loaded with cheap firewood and vegetables for sale.
The cart operators are mostly from surrounding peri-urban areas of St Peters, Methodist and Sigola.
They have become popular with hard-pressed residents for their low prices compared to traditional traders.
One of the operators who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com, Isaac Nkomo from St Peters said business has been good since the start of the coronavirus lockdown in March. He said:
I sell firewood and garden manure. Since I started in April, business has been good. Garden manure is on high demand because most people are now spending their time doing gardening due to the lockdown. I sell a 50 kg bag of manure for R100.
Another operator, who identified himself as Romeo, said that he operates three carts in Tshabalala, Sizinda and Nkulumane and has regular clients whom he supplies with various vegetables and wood fuel on credit and collects his money at the end of the month.
However, some residents who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com said they are not happy with the new informal traders as they leave their donkeys unattended to roam in the high-density streets during the night making noise and grazing in their residential yards.