COVID-19 pandemic and the informal sector in Zimbabwe
With the Zimbabwean economy already struggling with high unemployment rate in the formal market and high inflation rate, the coronavirus national lockdown will exacerbate circumstances of socio-economically vulnerable groups in Zimbabwe. Given the condition that about 90% of the employable population works in the informal sector, Zimbabwe’s national lockdown response has plunged the majority of informal operators such as vendors into further shackles of poverty. Vendors and commuter omnibus drivers are a typical group of people in Zimbabwe that fall within the range of socio-economically vulnerable people and their ability to withstand shocks is wanting. Anecdotal evidence indicated that the lockdown in Zimbabwe resulted in some families of vendors engaging in domestic violence as they are failing to cope up with the abrupt change to their circumstances. This paper is a product of qualitative research that was conducted with twenty participants in Hopley Community of Harare South using in-depth interview. The researchers also reviewed and analysed current narrations as indicated in different documents about the implications of the COVID-19 lockdown on the informal sector. This article proposes possible recommendations on how the government, social workers and other stakeholders may help in empowering informal sector workers to cope up with the aftermaths of the coronavirus lockdown.