Import ‘ban’ fallout deepens

Informal sector organisations on Tuesday stormed Harare’s Roadport bus terminus, where they rallied cross-border traders to resist government’s move to confiscate selected imported goods at the country’s border posts.

by Edgar Gweshe

Stendrick Zvorwadza
Stendrick Zvorwadza

The move by the informal traders came in the wake of government’s move to introduce import licences for a range of goods.

The move was met with resistance from cross-border traders at Beitbridge border post last Saturday.

Addressing the cross-border traders on Tuesday, National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) chairperson, Stern Zvorwadza said government’s latest move had proved its indifference to the plight of poverty stricken Zimbabweans.

He urged cross border traders to be united and resist any move that negatively affected their livelihoods.

“The government is responsible for the poverty that has pushed people into being vendors and cross-border traders, yet the same government is coming up with policies to stop people from earning an honest living at a time they have killed the economy and failed to create jobs,” he said.

“So, we are saying that government has proved beyond reasonable doubt that they do not care about the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans and it is time for us to unite and act.”

Zvorwadza bemoaned that instead of addressing corruption and bribery at the country’s border posts, the government was “focusing on destroying people’s livelihoods”.

“Cross-border traders have, for long, suffered from corruption by Zimra [Zimbabwe Revenue Authority] officials and despite numerous complaints, no action is taken against the culprits. We expect a reasonable government to focus on ending corruption and improving people’s livelihoods, but that is not the case in Zimbabwe,” he said.

“What we are seeing is a government focusing on destroying people’s livelihoods and, as Navuz, we will join other progressive forces in resisting this.”

Coalition of Traders Association secretary-general, Stanley Manyenga condemned government’s latest move.

“It is quite inhumane, cruel and inconsiderate that a lot of our members lost their wares at various entry points around the country’s borders. The government must immediately stop the confiscation of traders’ goods at the country’s borders or at roadblocks,” he said.

A female cross-border trader, who declined to be named, said: “I turned to cross-border trading after failing to get employment and to feed my family and send my children to school and this move by the government spells doom for my family and the future of my children.

“Personally, I think government is being too harsh on desperate citizens of this country.”


  1. Wasting scarce forex importing consumables ……

    1. Do you have any companies producing the consumables in Zim? If so how is the pricing?
      If the local products are competitively priced the imports will naturally fall away.

      You even have the audacity to talk of scarce forex, is it Zim currency, why to you want to stop international flow of an international currency, brainwashed dumwitt.

      1. I don’t think the above comment is brainwahsed. If import restrictions had bee implemented 5 years ago we would not be in as big a mess as we are in now. As painful as it will be our industry will never pick up as long as imports are as available as they are now. Eventually there will need to be some level of control but unfortunately the way government is implementing it is a quite confused and rushed.

    2. What do you mean scarce forex as if tine local currency?

    3. Uri murwere iwe. Enda kuchipatara. Foreign currency ipi when its the currency that we use. Pengera kwawakaroirwa. Manje chii ichocho?

  2. I think the only way our industry can start functioning is to ban imports of some goods that are locally produced.Yes it will affect our brothers who are making a living on it but in the long run it will create jobs and even bring the much foreign currency.Yes, unemployment is rife and corruption is high there is need for a new government not this one. On the issue of bond coins we do not need them they soon be rated against the US dollar.Please, tell Chinamasa ,RBZ governor and the head of state to resign they have failed in 36 years to run the economy.Truly, these are wasted years will leave nothing to leave to our young kids.l hold a masters degree but lm unemployed, when l was young l was told that education will unlock your future but in Zimbabwe this has proved the opposite.Please, Mr president what wrong did we do just because you are one of those who contributed to the liberation of our country then we must suffer can`t you see that people are suffering because of you.Please even at 93 you still want to rule what else did you still want to achieve after 36 years in power.Be bold to end your term in 2018 they will be celebrations countrywide, you were a hero and statesman not now, you have overstayed.Mr president do you want us to wait until you die in office in order for our lives to start progressing but one day those still alive will be free of your rule not very far as anything can happen at your age you can not expect to live another 30 years no no

  3. In this day and age, the primitive import control for non competitive industries is self serving. Let the companies compete, or if the government is so patriotic, they can finance the recapitalization of these industries so that they are competitive. After all we had diamonds and you lined your own pockets. That is what the ZANU PF thugs call patriotism, when they loot and destroy Zimbabwe. It can not be an economic policy of just waking up and pronouncing that you are destroying other people’s livelihoods after a disastrous agriculture season. These ZANU PF thugs take people for granted. They should realise that we are now in the endgame. Painful as it is and will be, we are happy that at last we are going to loose our chains. Let us see who blinks first.

  4. Is Zimbabwe benefiting from its membership of regional trading organisations? If we are then we need to follow the rules, if we are not, we should pull out of the trading arrangements and do whatever we need to do to grow the economy.

  5. This stand is supportworthy.DON’T GIVE UP… Family Rebelation Struggle,forced into by the same ‘colonialists’ who fought the wise colonial master who probably knew better how to handle national matters,though he had his negative side…

  6. Idiots. Rise up and remove the idiots from power. A nation of cowards. Kudyiwa wakasvinura sedemba, kurohwa usingadzorere kunge usina maoko. Stop complaining, organise and act.

  7. that indigenisation policy is crippling everything, just allow foreign direct investment to come in, then put in place good labour and taxation laws so that those companies may come and produce here. During the same program screen those companies that are a threat to the already established companies which are producing by either not allowing foreign companies or encouraging the foreign companies to be in partnership with the local companies to bring in equipment and or new technology. Our government should move away from being one that is in the business of banning what is giving people a means of living as this makes it the enemy of the it citizens. Paye makange modakubanner zvihuta. Our gvt is always waiting for to see how the citizens are making it in these difficult times, then crush that route. this is wickedness stop it.

  8. No need to protest .there is no way the manufacturing and processing industry will resuscitate with the coming of the bond.importation shall exist until we have government with good industrial’s only the import licence fee that you have to adjust to.marasika papi.

  9. No need to protest .there is no way the manufacturing and processing industry will resuscitate with the coming of the bond.importation shall exist until we have good industrial’s only the import licence fee being introduced that you have to adjust to.marasika papi.

  10. A bunch of educated cowards..kutya kurohwa kose uku hapana action yamotora muchitya junta hatina kubatana zvachose nhamo ndoichatisvuura,vana vachasara vachinonga svosve nemuromo.kupiwa nhaka yenhamo nevakangwara.Local product when u r not producing..senseless stuff.

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