Gokwe Women Thrive On Selling Agricultural Produce

As soon as a car, bus or commuter Omnibus slows down at Bomba, women carrying baskets, plates, tins and others with wares in their hands  rush for the customers.

Bomba women sell varying products including sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, bananas and varying kinds of fruits depending on the season.

However, in a bid to outrun each other some of the vendors at Bomba have lost their lives while others have been disabled after being run over by the cars of their potential customers.

Mavis Makanda told Radio VOP that over the years they have witnessed their colleagues dying while others have been maimed. “While we have been able to earn a living here at Bomba, we have seen a lot of our partners losing their lives after being run over by cars. Because we are competing to get customers, sometimes we run across the road for cars that stop at the other side and in the process some have lost their lives. I cannot recount how many of our colleagues have been run over but we have witnessed a number of fatal accidents, “Makanda told Radio VOP.

Face Nkomo has been vending at Bomba Growth point since 1978 and managed to put through all her five children in school. 

Margaret Ndlovu has sold her wares here since 2009. She says despite the economic hardships that the country has gone through she has managed to make a living through vending. Ndlovu, who is a former Zim Alloys employee in Gweru, began selling at the centre after the collapse of the company during the height of Zimbabwe economic woes.

“However after coming back home I joined other women at Bomba selling Agricultural Produce and I have not regretted. I have managed to survive and still take care of my parents…” she says.

Another vendor who only identified herself as Agnes who had buckets of sweet potatoes said despite the accidents that they witness, they continue to soldier on as vending is their way of earning a living.

“It’s painful seeing some of our colleagues die as we have become one big family though we compete for customers. However despite witnessing these accidents, we continue to sell our produce as this is the only way to feed and take care of our families,” Agnes told Radio VOP.

Vendors at Bomba growth point have appealed to the Gokwe local authority to construct humps so that motorists reduce their speed as they approach Bomba. They say if their pleas are not responded to, human life will continue to be lost at Bomba where women regardless of what time of the year have produce to sell.

While other Zimbabweans are hoping that capital is injected into companies to resuscitate them and provide employment, Bomba vendors are mourning for a mechanism that will reduce accidents at their factory, “Bomba business centre.”