While other city councils in Zimbabwe are using the current Covid-19 lockdown to raze down vending stalls Chitungwiza is doing something novel: they are building and repairing proper vending stalls in various locations around the city in order to formalise and better accommodate their vendors.
According to the Herald, the city is already in the process of building a stall close to Zengeza 2 shops. The stall is expected to accommodate over 300 vendors. It appears this stall is already nearing completion. However, despite this good news Chitungwiza Progressive Residents Association (CHITREST) were more cautious:
We don’t want to see people who are not into vending business, the land barons, benefiting at the expense of the vendors.The council registered all the informal traders two years ago they must do the allocation in the spirit of transparency and fairnessA statement from the residents association
Why the caution?
Well Chitungwiza has sort of gained a reputation as the city of shaddy opaque deals with councillors often accused of working hand in glove with land barons. Also in other times past opaque gangs such as the famed Chipangano sometimes take over these stalls and demand payment in order to allocate tables. This money is then distributed among gang members and never reaches city coffers.