Mostly Zimbabwe women make routine visits for their orders mainly for clothes.
These are cross boarder traders who are battling to make ends meet all over small towns as there are no major industries due to collapsed economy during the 10 year long political, social and economical crisis.
Zimbabwe’s major industries in small town such as Kadoma, Karoi, Chinhoyi, Norton, and Chegutu are still yet to get a sigh of relief forcing many to rely on clothing shops that are sproutimg throughout towns.
‘’We used to be busy with long distance trucks coming from mainly South Africa passing through to Zambia or Democratic Republic of Congo. That country’s infrastructure is being rebuilt after years of war that saw the country collapsing. Now we are busy with women cross boarder traders, we are under pressure’’ says a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) officer who identified himself as Petros.
He adds that the boarder still close around 6 in the evening making hard for those who want to beat the deadline to cross the boarder.
A clearing agent, Dickson Maphosa, whose work is to facilitate exporting documentations for the truck drivers says, “these women do not give us business at all as they smuggle goods with assitance of truck or bus drivers. Women are coming here daily as if South African’s Mussina and Ramokgwebana in Botswana boarders closed”.
These two boaders had become busy especially in 2008 when Zimbabweans imported food after local shops failed to get food stuffs due to world breaking inflation.
”Zambia offers better clothes at cheaper prices and there is no difference for my clients in Kadoma whether I get these from South Africa or Botswana. We are glad that shopping mall like Comesa is gaining popularity as South African and Botswana shopping malls.
“The distance is also better for us and we have to meet demands as we are going towards Christmas’’ says Revai Banda of Rimuka.
She was among nearly 60 women from Kadoma who are making weekly errands to Zambia.
Revai says they are failing to meet demand from their clients around the gold mining named City of Gold.
Zambia is slowly becoming a regional powerhouse that is supplying most Zimbabwean clothing shops as Zimbabwe battles to rehabilitate its collapsed manufacturing sector.
Ironically Kadoma’s David Whitehead is another industry that closed following the decade long collapse of the economy.
Cross boarder traders focus chiefly on clothing for all ages and both genders
Zimbabwe was forced to import maize from its neighbour in 2008 after some whites who were chased away settled there and boosted its agriculture sector.
Politically, Zambia went through a 27 year rule under its founder President Kenneth Kaunda who was forced out of power by labour backed leader Frederick Chiluba in 1991.
Chiluba had to pave way for Levy Mwanawasa till 2008 while Rupia Banda lost to Michael Sata in September this year.
On the other hand Zimbabweans are still under 31 years of President Robert Mugabe’s iron fist rule ,who stand accused for the collapse of the economy due to lack of rule of law, human rights abuses and the controversial land reform of 2000.