Informal traders boom as companies close

Backyard industries are giving some businesses a run for their money, a survey by The Zimbabwean has shown.

Informal trading is now competitive in Mutare.
Informal trading is now competitive in Mutare.

Between 2007 and 2009 Mutare Board and Paper Mills, Zimboard and Plate Glass among other companies in the city closed down while Tanganda Holdings, Cains Foods, Wattle Company and Border Timbers scaled down operations, leaving scores of workers jobless.

John Hukuimwe (48), a former glass fitter of the closed Plate Glass Mutare, is one of the many informal traders that were now competing with registered companies. A shop owner in Mutare’s city centre,Shaquil Ahmed, complained he had been pushed out of business.

“Informal traders sell the same wares I sell right in front of my shop,” he said.

A restaurant owner, FaraiZinyemba, admitted facing stiff competition from the unlicensed vendors which had seen his business going down. He asked council to rescue formal businesses like his by arresting those operating illegally.

The Mutare City Council Town Clerk, ObertMuzawazi,who blamed non-existent sanctions for closure of companies in his city, said shop owners were refusing to pay rates because of an influx of un-registered back yard industries.

Muzawazi said council was encouraging informal businesses to grow and had decided to empower them through provision of properly built market stalls or incubators. He said such a move would benefit the city.

Post published in: Business

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *