Vendors In Victoria Falls Call For Strict Action Against Zambians

Zimbabwean vendors in Victoria Falls have urged the local authority to ensure that hawkers from Zambia respect the city’s by-laws.

A report by the Global Press Journal indicates that Zambian vendors have taken advantage of the reopening of the Zimbabwe-Zambia border to travel to Victoria Falls to sell fruits and vegetables.

The border was closed in 2020 as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The Zambian vendors, popularly known as omzanga, a Nyanja term meaning “friend,” cross the Victoria Falls Bridge en route to Zimbabwe every morning to sell vegetables.

A local vendor, Sikhulile Ngwenya who has been in the business for 10 years, said she feels a constant threat and uncertainty looming over her livelihood.

The Zambian vendors reportedly sell their fruits and vegetables and low prices because they source their products from farms that are close to the border with Zimbabwe.

Their Zimbabwean counterparts are however, forced to sell at higher prices as they source their produce from places like Lupane, 264 kilometers (164 miles) away; Bulawayo, 435 kilometers (270 miles) away; and sometimes as far as Harare, 874 kilometers (543 miles) away.

Local vendors also must operate from their designated spots in the markets, and pay rentals to the Victoria Falls City Council, while the Zambian vendors can move door to door.

Ngwenya said she pays US$16 a month to the council. She said during the first lockdown, she made US$15 to US$25 a day, but now she makes US$10 to US$15 a day. Ngwenya said:

Because vendors sell door to door, our customers no longer visit the market.

This is now a threat to our livelihoods as we no longer sell much because residents would rather wait for the Zambian vendors sitting in their homes.

Grace Shoko, who is the vice chairperson of the Zambezi Informal Cross Border Traders Association (ZICBTA) accused Zambian vendors of “stealing” their customers.

ZICBTA was founded in late 2021 in Victoria Falls to resolve issues between local and Zambian traders.

Naomi, a Zambian vendor, said she prefers vending in Zimbabwe because she makes more money than when selling in Zambia because in Zimbabwe she sells in United State dollars.

She said when she converts her USD to Zambian kwacha back in her country, she gets a substantial amount.

Mercy Mushare, a member of the Mkhosana vendors association, said they have engaged the local authority to put in place bylaws that protect local vendors. She said:

We are not saying Zambians should not come and sell, but they should abide by the same bylaws which we abide by. They should not be at an advantage over locals.

Victoria Falls residents, however, fear that strict action against Zambian vendors might eventually hurt the common Zimbabwean as local vendors will most likely increase prices to pandemic levels.

More: Pindula News

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17 comments on “Vendors In Victoria Falls Call For Strict Action Against Zambians

  1. Very funny while Zimbabweans don’t respect South African law they do as they’re pleased here in SA

    1. Zimbabweans didn’t say they don’t want Zambians or they want different laws to them. They said we don’t have problem with them but they must follow the same law Zimbabweans follows. We don’t have our neighbors like south Africans do

    2. But Zim hawhers have been vending in Zambia for quite a long time now and there goods a cheaper than those of the same being sold by Zambian, so here it looks like good should only be one sided Zim guys appreciate that here in Zam we don’t subject your colleagues to our trading laws as you want ours to be subjected to your own laws.

      1. Why don’t you apply your by laws to the Zimbabwean hawkers. It’s a stupid argument reallym

        1. Here in Lusaka we always see Zimbabwean hawkers freely moving around without being followed by the council officers

    3. I don’t agree with the stance taken by Zimbabwean Vendors but this is different from SA. In SA Zimbabweans are not taking any space or are they violating and SA rules. SA very few people want to be Vendors.

  2. What’s so special with your south Africa and Zimbabwe? If you don’t want foreign vendors you must take your country and put in your pocket. Zip your mouth even in Europe there are vendors and most of them they are foreigners.

    1. But Zimbabweans didn’t said they don’t want them , they said they want the government to give them the same law as them

  3. The argument is baseless, why don’t Zim vendors go and get fruits in Zambia, if it’s cheaper… Then be competetive. Business needs competition, so buyers can have goods at a reasonable price and encourages improvement rather pointing figures. If they are loop holes in the system use them also and go around selling. Take advantage of it because munhu wese arikutsvanga mari be clever than complain and complain. Why would someone take your vending job, simple answer you have become complacent

  4. That is ridiculous, Why don’t they cross over and buy their wares in Zambia they are allowed to right. And what is preventing the Zimbabweans to sell door to door? Since the borders are opened which means it’s a two way street. Let’s learn to work together.

  5. Border towns are like that you can’t restrict trade, it’s always driven by demand and supply. Let trade take place freely the beneficially are the people. Vic falls resident deserves cheaper supply from Zambia.

  6. I think the story of trading in Victoria falls doesn’t make sense coz same thing the Zimbabwean vendors complain about is the same thing their people are doing here in Johannesburg door to door trade

  7. Business is business at the end of the day you can’t complain of someone who’s doing it right for themselves

  8. Am Zambian but did my studies at UZ parirenyatwa campus. Theres no need to complain here. We are children of the same household. Let our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe buy vegetables in bulk from Zambia cheaply and make more profit selling door to door. Our sisters from Zimbabwe are selling cheap sweets and biscuits from Zimbabwe cheaply in Zambia with no permits and do that door to door., so far no Zambian has complained , why complain when it only suits them? Let’s learn to co exist and look out for one another. Viva Zimbabwe! Viva Zambia!

  9. My fellow zimboz stop being cowards. No one can steal a customer, it just means your strategy is wrong. Kanti, can’t you also buy in Zambia. You don’t even have to go to Zambia, just have a supplier across the boarder to deliver

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