Boka floors a one-stop shop for farmers

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Boka Tobacco auction floor has been turned into a one-stop shop for farmers with hundreds of “business people” having thronged the place since the beginning of the sales in February.

Hundreds of farmers from as far as Kazangarare in Hurungwe, Masvingo and Murewa, among other areas, bring their tobacco at the auction floors, are however happy as this has made “shopping” easier for them.

When NewsDay visited the floors on Wednesday, hundreds of people were seen milling around trying to sell their products, ranging from dining-room suites, television sets, vehicles, clothes among other valuables turning the area literally into a business haven.

This was despite the fact that police had raided the place a few minutes earlier and arrested vendors before confisticating various properties including scotch-carts on sale.

Memory Kazangarare from Hurungwe said that she has always wanted to buy a scotch-cart and after getting her cash on Monday, she headed straight to buy her dream possession.

“I have always wanted to buy a scotch-cart and I thank God that after getting my money, I walked straight to buy one,” she said.

Scotch-carts are ranging between $4OO-600.

Joseph Mupavaviri from Masvingo who was busy loading some furniture in a lorry to be taken all the way to his rural place said that, it was better to get the furniture without sweating around town.

His fear was that he had heard many stories of people being robbed or conned in the city thus it was better for him to buy goods at one place.

“I don’t know the actual prices in town but I think this is better as I can buy all I want at one go and head straight home,” he said.

Though some are involved in genuine trade, some elements are reportedly engaging in dirty deals including prostitution and stealing.

The nearby Extra Mile leisure spot, according to sources, has attracted commercial sex workers from different towns and cities, to milk the farmers of their hard-earned cash and criminal elements are reportedly wrecking havoc.

This has not gone down well with the police who have engaged in a number of raids.

“Police are targeting us but we don’t know what we have done wrong. We are trying to make a living here and all they do is come and raid us,” said a woman who identified herself as amai Motsi.

Amai Motsi is involved in cooking sadza that goes from $1 to $2 a plate depending on the relish.

“On a good day I pocket almost $200 but if the police come like today, business is affected as I know I have to part with at least $US20 to be set free.”

Vehicles on sale at the auction floor grounds included an old Mazda B2200, two Mazda 323s and other various makes, mostly pick-up trucks.

The owner of the Mazda truck said that his vehicle was going for US$1 800 and many farmers have expressed interest.

“I am only waiting for them to get their money so that we can make a deal,” said the owner who was unstable because of high security alert.

Police spokesperson Inspector James Sabau said that the police were not targeting vendors but against possibilities of criminality.

“We are taking precautionary measures to curb possibilities of criminality. In places like this, we are aware of elements who engage in robbing and conning innocent farmers,” said Sabau.