Page Nav




Classic Header


Top Ad

Advertise Here

Breaking News:


Zimbabwe: An economy driven by ‘touts’

HARARE – In Zimbabwean lingo, a ‘tout’ is a person who attracts commuters to a rank through shouting. A proper definition of tout is to ad...

HARARE – In Zimbabwean lingo, a ‘tout’ is a person who attracts commuters to a rank through shouting.

A proper definition of tout is to advertise, to hype, push or flog merchandise. So, your profession can also be classified as such.

However, this name has stuck with commuter operators mostly, and for the purpose of this article, The Aloe News will stick to that definition.

Touts On Rampage
Touts are often identified by their ‘intimidating characteristics, loose morals, breaking the law and all sorts of mischief’. They are known to be a disorderly collection who seeks to activate mayhem wherever they operate. 

For instance, a route may be pegged at $1 but they may inflate the fare for profiteering. 

So, everyone causing despondency and confusion within an environment can be dully called a ‘tout’. Some common lingo that has gripped Harare originated in public transport – and credit goes to touts for their creativity. 

Foreign currency dealers in Harare also tout to attract clients. They do so along busy avenues, boldly declaring their trade without fear. 

Informal traders are causing a headache for the municipality within Harare CBD as they tout various wares ranging from tomatoes, underwear, chickens and roasted maize. Prostitutes have invaded the avenues peddling their flesh for survival. 

Thigh touts, we presume?

Coin Shortages
When the monetary authorities released bond coins, commuter touts fronted the boycott, despite the fact that it was meant to alleviate change problems that had engulfed the economy. 

For days, it seemed that the coins had disappeared before they could be utilised. South Africans Rand coins which were in short supply suddenly became a sought-after commodity.

How ironic?

And who gave them the power of first refusal before the whole nation could decide. South African commuters usually consult when a fare increase is to be effected, in Harare this is alien. 

As you read, bond coins have suddenly become a hit due to the Rand taking a plunge against major currencies. Guess who is at the forefront of instigating a cross rate: touts.

Touts Rule Harare
Do touts respect laws?

“Next time you decide to publish a picture of a tout or vendor, who is busy with their daily business, remember your story is incomplete. The story is only complete when we are shown other pictures of the tout’s family getting down to a meal…” 

An expert reasoned.

With most businesses closing daily, nearly everyone is now a tout. From airtime vendors to managers selling chickens to their subordinates and drug pushers. If you dispute my suggestions, just take a preview within your residential area. Pirated disks and assorted illicit merchandise are displayed at will.

Exonerating the trade, an observer said: “The police officer who stands next to the tout and is seemingly doing nothing about the tout who is supposed to be breaking some law may not be wrong.

The officer realises that the tout is better off ‘touting’ than pickpocketing – that is better for the society at large. We are in Africa - let us recognise that the informal economy is a reality and here to stay. Touting and vending is genuine work in Africa.”

So, you wish to become a real tout, come to Zimbabwe. – The Aloe News

Tinzwei Is A Worth Voyage For Those In Pursuit For Up-To-Date World Events.

Read More At The Online Coronavirus Portal Or Use The 24-Hour Public Hotline:
South Africa: 0800 029 999 or just Send Hie to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp

No comments