Socio-economic impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures on the informal sector livelihoods in Zimbabwe

  • Kudzai Nyabeze
  • Witness Chikoko


The paper interrogates the socio-economic impact of lockdown measures on street vendors’ livelihoods in Zimbabwe. The study draws literature from a global, regional and national perspective with the utility of the capabilities approach in conceptualising the problem. The utility of the African renaissance theory was important in revealing how colonial structural systems can create stumbling blocks for the operation of the informal sector in an African context. The study reveals documentary analysis in conceptualising the socio-economic impact of coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) on the informal sector. This paper identified the following socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the informal sector such as disempowerment, exposure to poverty, increased gender-based violence and inequality. The implications of the lockdown measures have accelerated the rate of demise of the informal sector in an already crumbling socio-economic environment. The study reveals that the major economic impact of COVID-19 on the informal sector is poverty and decreased profits exposing this sector to abject poverty. This paper recommends that the government should provide social protection programmes for this sector during such socio-economic shocks based on indigenous African knowledge systems.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2409-5605
print ISSN: 1563-3934