by Lloyd Sesemani
The Tsvingwe Vending Market in Mutasa District has been in existence for about 40 years, but has been abandoned by the Mutasa Rural District Council (MRDC) since early 2000. The market was home to more than 100 vendors with women constituting a bigger number. These vendors were legally registered and also contributing to revenue collection of MRDC. Constructed in the early 80s at Tsvingwe Business Center, the place used to attract all fruit and vegetables customers. The place used to be maintained well during that time but the situation changed in the new millennium where MRDC started to ignore the place. Termites were all over the roofing timber which led to the collapse of the roof in 2010. In no time vendors abandoned the place and looked for other alternatives.
The situation compelled vendors to sell their wares in the streets at various points with the construction of makeshifts structures which is detriment to revenue collection of MRDC. “Past Member of Parliament and local Government councilors have been promising to put a state-of-the-art vending market, but we are yet to see that materialize. In fact, this market is used as a political campaign tool,” said a local resident vendor in Tsvingwe. Another vendor echoed the same sentiments and said, “Politicians only take advantage of us during election period and talk big, but they are not able to back their words with actions after voting for them. It’s really pathetic for us vendors to make ends meet.” During public consultations held by MRDC, residents demanded for the reconstruction of the market and this was well noted and they are eagerly waiting for the construction to begin anytime soon. With the current increase in population in Tsvingwe high density suburb, most families survive on vending and informal trading since the industry is not yet fully functional hence the need for MRDC to quickly construct more vending structures. “The sprouting of vendors in Penhalonga especially in Tsvingwe location is worrisome and the council is on the move to regularize them in no time,’ Councilor Sabhuneti said.