Invasion by road side vendors

By Fortunate Gunde

MHANGURA – ROADSIDE vendors have taken over Mhangura making it a nightmare
for people to move around freely.
The vendors are situated along the highway from the Central Business Centre
(Bazaars) to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
The resultant outcome is that it causes traffic congestion and environmental pollution as
the vendors end up strewing garbage and filth all over, thereby increasing the risk of
diseases that give rise to typhoid, cholera just to mention a few, as well as creating
breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
The increase in vending is caused by the economic hardships, high unemployment
levels in Mhangura as people try to make ends meet and also the need to fulfill the
basic requirements, ever since the mine closed down,.
Makonde Rural District Council (MRDC), Personal Assistance to the, Chief Executive
Officer ,who is also the spokesperson, Norman Musora, said the council appreciates the
significant role the informal sector plays in the development of the nation. Vending has
become a form of employment on its own, thereby contributing to growth in the Local
Economic Development (LED) of any given area, including Mhangura.
“However, there are dangers involved in road side vending and these include the risk of
these entrepreneurs being run over by speeding vehicles as they go about their
business. There is also a potential health hazard due to littering and lack of public toilets
for such a large volume of people operating around the area.
“We would like to promote vending that is done in an orderly manner that does not
disturb the smooth flow of traffic along the busy highway. Operating from road side also

poses challenges for Council Revenue Officers to collect revenue from them if they are
not operating from designated sites.
“Now that Mhangura has become a town, it is likely to have more land for the expansion
and with its own budget, this will enable the council to construct modern vending stalls
and markets at designated public transport pick-up points, where there are ablution
“We will also be in a position to restore sanity at the said place using the by – laws,
which will come into effect soon,” explained Musora.
Marshal Mudhiriza, from Tesi Mhangura, said they settled themselves along the
roadside without the council’s permission because there was nothing else they could do
given the economic conditions and absence of jobs.
“We told ourselves to do our business here so that at least we make ends meet.
“Lack of space is one of our major challenges because as one can see, we located
ourselves in a very dangerous area which is the highway, where there is traffic
congestion especially among the public transport, where there are Zimbabwe United
Passengers Company (ZUPCO) buses and Tsviriyos.
“I just wish the council could forgive us and locate us at a safe place without public
transport because right now as it is we have created our own death trap, especially
amongst the children and the old age who use the road. This will lead to people being
run over by vehicles,” said Mudhiriza.
Mudhiriza said he was reminded of last year when a child was hit by a bus. The child
died later in hospital.
Eva Mukina, from Mhangura, blamed lack of education, unemployment and the general
worsening of things got worse for someone like her who is now a widow with two
children she has to look after. Her first born is in Grade Two, while the last born is 20

“I come from Doma, but there is no business there, so I come here in the morning and
go back home in the evening. I get my transport fare which is a dollar to and fro.
“I found myself here selling in Mhangura because at least there are a lot of customers
here than in Doma, where I stay,” explained Mukina.

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