EXPELLED former Chivi South legislator Killer Zivhu has pleaded with President Emmerson Mnangagwa to allow informal traders to buy goods in Musina, South Africa, for resale, saying they had fallen on hard times.
Zivhu is the president of the Zimbabwe Cross-Border Traders Association.
South Africa reopened its border with Zimbabwe last Monday, but Zimbabwe, whose informal traders survive through buying from the neighbouring country for resale locally, is still to reciprocate.
Cross-border traders were the most affected by the COVID-19 lockdown as borders were completely closed to human traffic except those in essential services.
“As cross-border traders, we ask that we be added to the category of those who are allowed to go and shop after producing our COVID-19 test results within 72 hours and come back within the same period,” Zivhu said.
“We want them to go to Musina and come back within the same period. The main problem we are having is that most of the cross-border traders, as schools are about to open, can’t afford to send their children to school.”
He added: “Some have even failed to return to colleges. A number of families can’t afford to pay rent, buy food and buy their medication, especially those with chronic diseases. This is because they don’t have any other sources of livelihood except buying and selling.”
Zivhu said his organisation had a facility to test cross-border traders on their exit and return.
“I have no doubt that the government of Zimbabwe is a people’s government. The new dispensation is there for the people and will actually come up with provisions that will see Zimbabweans benefiting,” he said.