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WOMEN CROSSBORDER TRADERS HIT HARD BY COVID 19 LOCKDOWN

By Susan Tembo

Covid 19 as it stands, has brought with it a hodge-podge of problems which have been felt by the entire universe. Mostly affected are the women cross border traders who have not been spared.

They have to date, swallowed this bitter pill which is forcing them to seek new ways of making a living.           

Since March 2020, land borders closed due to the accelerating rate of Covid 19 cases. In a bid to curb the spread of this deadly pandemic, one of the mitigation strategies which was adopted by various governments in Africa and abroad was to close the borders.

This however, became a sour meal for the women cross border traders whose lives and that of their families is uprooted in cross border trading. A lexic analysis shows that, majority of informal cross borders traders owes to women.

Most of these women are single mothers who are their families’ breadwinners. Even so, some women in this trade though married or are young ladies, high unemployment situation especially in this country (Zimbabwe) has catalysed many to venture into this trade.

They, for the past years have been earning a living out of it. Keeping body and soul together was not that much bitter as they could work for themselves being own bosses.                               

At the twinkling of an eye, as borders got closed, the wheel of mill changed. These women has suffered enough brunt of the Covid 19 pandemic. Their families could not withstand such that some have resorted to prostitution, gold panning, hide & seek vending among others.

This has been a push for them. They are trying to make means meet. Some have even been passing illegally through the borders on a win lose scenario.

Recently, others lost lives in Limpopo river, all because of trying to earn a living. One of the woman crossborder trader’s once retorted “kuvharwa kweborder kwatiurayisa”.

Upon such, it is with great persuasion that, women CROSSBORDER trader’s pleads with the government, organisations and individuals to help them earn a living during these hard times.

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