Vendors and informal workers’ groups in Zimbabwe say that city officials, with the support of the national government, are exploiting the lockdown to destroy makeshift shops and market stalls while their owners are observing stay-at-home orders.
Having already gone without income since the country went into lockdown on March 30, many vendors lost essential stock and prized possessions when their stalls were destroyed, Wadzai said.
City officials have promised to accommodate vendors in approved spaces that will be designated for use by market vendors once the lockdown is lifted.
Vendors’ rights groups like the Informal Economy Traders Association have described the payments as “paltry”, saying they barely cover a family’s most basic needs.
If the government wants to help vendors recover from both the impacts of the pandemic and the loss of their stalls, it should ease the informal trading sector out of lockdown and put a rush on aid payments, Wadzai said.