total of 120 informal traders some of whom had been operating illegally prior
to the Covid-19 induced national lockdown have now registered their operation
with the Bikita Rural District Council (RDC), TellZim has learnt.
The local authority is
on a drive to encourage more informal traders to register their operations so
as to avoid future inconveniences should the lockdown be fully lifted.
In an interview with
TellZim News, Bikita RDC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter Chibhi said
council wanted orderly and lawful informal trading going forward.
“We are pleased that a
significant number of our people in the informal trade have come forward to
regularise their activities. We encourage others to come forward as this is a
continuous process allowed as per the SI 136 (Public Health [Covid-19 Prevention,
Containment and Treatment] [National Lockdown] Amendment Order, 2020, No 10).
“Council is working
hard to improve market stalls at Nyika growth point and other business centres
to make sure that people do their business in dignity and with decreased
chances of contracting the coronavirus and spreading it to others,” said
He warned that the
future was bleak for those who fail to take advantage of the existing
dispensation to register anybody who wants to get into the informal trade.
“Our desire is to give
our people a chance to fend for their families in a lawful manner since things
will never be the same even if we are to have a post-Covid-19 era. Council
wants to maintain lawful control of informal traders so that we can plan
accordingly and be able to provide optimum service delivery as per our mandate,”
He also said those that
have already registered were being allowed to do some business at stipulated
timeframes with a requirement that they strictly adhere to maximum hygiene
standards possible and social distancing rules.
In April, the Ministry
of Local Government Public Works and National Housing ordered local authorities
to take advantage of the lockdown to destroy illegal market stalls and build
proper market places.