The Herald (Harare)

28 June 2012

Zimbabwe: New Flea Market for Mbare

A privately-owned 5 200-stall fleamarket is taking shape in Mbare along Harare Road near Matapi Flats.

Some traders have already taken up space at the new fleamarket which analysts say will help decongest Mupedzanhamo.

The fleamarket known as the Magio Centre opened in March this year but has largely remained low key with few traders using its stalls.

The city has struggled to build a second Mupedzanhamo despite the huge demand for trading space.

Clothes traders have inexplicably occupied all the open spaces around the council owned Mupedzanhamo Market resulting in traders in the council flea market complaining of losing business due to competition from the unregistered traders.

Traders at the new market sell second hand clothing (mabhero/mukambo) -- a prime business in the city now.

Proprietor Mr Charles Mike said he intends to invest US$2 million in the construction of what he termed an "upmarket" fleamarket.

So far 400 stalls are available for daily hiring at US$3 a stall per day.

"We charge per day because the market is available to people who have something to sell on a particular day. We do not want people to speculate with the stalls," he said.

When the market is complete it would have 26 sheds, each with 200 stalls. So far two sheds have been completed and the third one is nearing completion.

Mr Mike said unlike Mupedzanhamo, the advantage of his market, which ironically is failing to attract traders, is its proximity to Mbare Bus Terminus.

The market boasts of a huge cloakroom to store vendors' wares, toilets and tap water.

"We are building a car park. We have enough land for a huge development -- 3.9ha," he said.

He said as part of community service he was engaging the city for permission to be allowed to upgrade a section of Harare Road that leads to the market from Cripps Road.

"We have also started a number of community projects aimed at sprucing up the area to make it more attractive to the upmarket customers we hope to attract here," he said.

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