Masvingo – Masvingo fruit and vegetable vendors are counting their losses as tens of tonnes of their orders are rotting away following the abrupt closure of Chitima, the biggest informal market in Masvingo on Wednesday last week.
This was confirmed by Tamisai Katini, Chitima Fruit and Vegetable Vendors Association chairperson in an interview with The Mirror today.
Katini said that there are 35 tonnes of bananas, 21 tonnes of avocadoes and an unspecified quantity of tomatoes that have either been thrown away or are rotting because of the closure of the market.
“These products were already ordered when the Masvingo District Covid-19 Taskforce ordered the closure of the market. Seven trucks of bananas and four trucks of avocados were already on the road when we got the order to shut down.
“Farmers threw away their tomatoes while bananas and avocados are starting to rot and Chitima and Tanaiwa market at the rank where they are stashed away. It is a huge loss to the vendors,” said Katini.
Efforts to get a comment from the chairman of Masvingo District Covid – 19 Taskforce, Ray Hove were fruitless.
Katini said the vendors have since sent a petition to Hove requesting the Committee to revisit the question of reopening Chitima under new conditions of operation.
She said that the conditions at Tanaiwa where most of the fruits are stashed away are bad and trading time is limited to a few hours and this was causing congestion and creating serious inefficiencies.
She expressed concern that markets in other cities like Harare and Bulawayo are open.#MasvingoMirror#