Masvingo City Council
has re-opened part of the fruit and vegetable section of Chitima market as well
as part of the informal market adjacent to the Civic Centre Gardens along Leopold
began renovating part of the dilapidated market stalls at the beginning of the
lockdown and currently, 64 bays at Leopold Takawira Ave and 80 bays at Chitima
markets are ready.
City of Masvingo public
relations officer Ashleigh Jinkika said vendors were now allowed to operate at
the markets if they paid the requisite fees.
“Both markets at
Chitima and Leopold Takawira are now opened but operation depends on payment of
US$40 for a table. Traders had to apply again since allocation of the revamped
space was done anew, with successful applicants signing lease agreements with council,”
She said strict measures will be implemented to ensure
that the market places were kept clean.
“We will ensure timeous refuse collection depending
on the availability of resources to do so and we will not allow any illegal
extension of the bays. We urge traders to help keep those markets clean by
keeping their own refuse bins,” Jinjika said.
She said the rental costs were justified as council
had refurbished the market stalls at great cost, meaning traders will now do
business in cleaner and more dignified spaces.
“The markets were
planned in such a way that traders will be able to maintain social distancing
to help reduce chances of the spread of coronavirus,” said Jinjika.
Tanaka Murwidzi, an
informal trader at Chitima market, said he was happy that he had managed a get
trading space at the upgraded market.
“I am now happy after
all these months of struggle. It was very difficult for people who have known
no other work except this. I am also pleased that council has improved
conditions at this place,” said Murwidzi.
complained that the US$40 needed for the lease agreement was too high a price
for many informal traders.