Hundreds of Zimbabwean cross border traders cross into Zambia daily in to sell their goods and import foodstuffs that are in short supply in Harare, and despite government restrictions on imports, they have continued to supply the Zimbabwean population with commodities that are not available in Harare’s supermarkets.
Most supermarkets in Harare have no basic commodities like toothpaste, bath soap, washing poweders, cooking oil and rice.
Thousands of cross border traders are importing these goods from Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa and Botswana daily.
“We come here every week to sell beer, wines, reed mats and cigarettes and buy groceries that we go and sell in Harare, the hardships in Harare are unbearable” said one cross border trader, a young woman in her early 20s.
However, the continuing decline in the value of the Zimbabwean dollar has resulted in increasing desperation among cross border traders, with most of them sleeping in the open in Lusaka, even in wet weather.
Teachers, nurses and other civil servants who use their meagre savings on cross border trips to supplement their paltry government salaries have been rendered destitute in neighbouring countries, as they have to sleep on the pavements and spend the day vending wines and cartons of cigarettes. ...