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Future Looks Bleak for Zimbabwe Vendors

The future looks bleak for these vendors at Egodini as the Bulawayo City Council has not yet found a suitable place to relocate them a few days before they vacate the Basch Street Bus Terminus. (File Photo)

Vendors in Zimbabwe say the future looks bleak for most of them as company closures are forcing thousands of people to venture into the informal business sector.

Debra Mukasa of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economies Associations says there is now stiff competition among vendors on the streets as workers in the formal sector continue losing their jobs.

Mukasa says shortages of vending space will drive some vendors out of the market, resulting in lack of income for hundreds of households.

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There are more than 5,000 vendors in Bulawayo and over 20,000 in Harare while other cities are believed to have up to 2,000 each.

Most industries have shutdown in the country's second largest city due to lack of capital and other factors.

This has forced most retreched workers to venture into the fast dwindling informal sector.

Zimbabwe has an unemployment rate estimated by the state to be about 10.7 percent but independent economists have put the figure at almost 80 percent.