Vendors frog marched to Uhuru

Vendors said the independence celebrations held last week cost them money as they were forced to suspend business to attend the proceedings at Rudhaka stadium.

More than 500 vendors at the Zanu (PF) controlled flea markets were ordered to close shop for the national event or risk losing the market stalls to sympathisers of the former ruling party.

“The Zanu (PF) committee, which administers the flea market, instructed us not to do business until the celebrations were over,” said a vendor who declined to be named. “We were also forced to pay a $2 contribution each. We grudgingly made the contributions as we feared for our lives and losing the market stalls.”

Vendors said as a result of loss of business on that day, they will find it difficult to raise school fees and buy uniforms for their children.

“Normally on such public holidays, a clothing or hardware vendor would realise no less than $100 in profits,” said Clemency Mwenga.

The stadium attracted mainly children and women who were entertained by the Defence Forces. The presidential speech, read by Zanu (PF) Mashonaland East Governor, Aenius Chigwedere, was inaudible because the public address system was not working properly.

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