The lockdown period is marked by different events and activities as each day passes by in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 which has already claimed lives in Zimbabwe.
H-Metro conducted a survey of the eighth day of COVID-19 lockdown in several Harare suburbs and established a series of events playing out in surrounding locations.
The Harare City Council’s corporate communications manager Michael Chideme told H-Metro that vendors are still banned from selling their produce on the streets and around supermarkets.
“We have made a provision that Mbare Musika and Lusaka be open so that farmers can come and sell their products to retail shops only.
“This will make it easier for residents who would make their way into the shops to buy vegetables, tomatoes, and anything. “For vendors, the issue still remains the same, they are not allowed to operate and it is up to Government to consider their plight since everything is under the nose of the State during this COVID-19 period,” explained Chideme.
H-Metro established that a lot of fruits and vegetable vendors have resorted to selling their products in car trunks and carts.
Some of them have avoided running battles with the police and are now trading in street corners and outside their homes, while a few are still at their usual spots ready to flee from municipal police.
Almost every fuel service station is remarkably serving fuel and there are no queues which had become a common sight before the lockdown period.
Moses Mazarure, a motorist queueing for diesel at a service station in Katanga Norton, said he is still surprised as to why there are no more long queues at service stations.
“This is quite remarkable to experience, even if the price has gone up. “I wonder if this is going to be the norm even after the lockdown because of the long queues before the lockdown had been a stressful experience.
“This could be because there are no more kombis and pirate taxis operating and this should tell which kind of people cause commo-tion in queues.
“Kushaikwa kwema kombi kwakuita tinyatsowana fuel zvakanaka,” said Mazarure. Surprisingly, some black market fuel dealers were seen milling at fuel stations attempting to sell the commodity to unsuspecting motorists.
Money changers who have been plying their trade in the Central Business District (CBD) area such as Road Port, Copacabana, and Market Square terminus have since increased their presence in local suburbs.
H-Metro established that forex dealers in their numbers are operating at major supermarkets targeting shoppers going in and out of the shops. One forex dealer, who identified himself as Charlie, said their trade has not been affected in any way by the lockdown period.
“The situation remains the same whether I am in town or local because our clients have a way to find us and everyone is trading.
“We are buying US dollars at 35 percent when transferring money and 30 when using bond notes. “When we are selling the US dollars to our clients we demand 40 to 42 transfer rate and 35 for bond notes, but it depends on the day,” he said.
Imbibers have become a common sight in shopping areas as alcohol is still defiantly sold in Shabeens and car trunks. In Mufakose, some beer drinkers who spoke to H-Metro said they have taken the lockdown period as a holiday to merry make with friends.
“Delta beverages are open during this lockdown meaning it is understood that there are some who would be having their beers.
“We just worry about the army otherwise we continue to have our beers here,” said Tendai Mudzimu.
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