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Zimbabwe's jobless try street selling

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 01:28

Zimbabwe has one of the worst unemployment rates in the world but there's one industry which is thriving. As Tim Graham reports the number of unregulated vendors is soaring as people try to make a living selling on the streets.

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Trying to turn a dollar isn't easy in Zimbabwe. As jobs dwindle in the once-prosperous country, the number of street vendors and hawkers is rising. Among them, people like 25 year old Moses Karawira. A qualified electrician who's having to sell chocolate and water to make ends meet. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MOSES KARAWIRA, STREET VENDOR, SAYING: "If only the government could create jobs for us. It's not desirable that everybody is now a vendor. If you check all these people, there are so many with the right qualifications but there are no jobs." Unions representing hawkers claim to have as many as six million members. On a good day, Moses makes about four U.S. dollars. It's barely enough to buy food for his wife and young child, let alone anything else. For years, Zimbabwe has been struggling to recover economically... and analysts say the country's leaders are to blame. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRISTOPHER MUGAGA, ANALYST, SAYING: "Politics has to be put in order. We need a system which believes in economic growth; be economic managers not political managers." In 2013, President Robert Mugabe promised two million new jobs. Those haven't eventuated. And Mugabe's latest hope of China coming to the rescue may now also be on shaky ground, as Beijing deals with its own slowdown. Meaning vendor commerce may be around for some time to come.

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Zimbabwe's jobless try street selling

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 01:28