Vendors brave rain at Nakasero Market in Kampala, Uganda, on 30 June 2021. Photo: Badru Katumba/AFP

  By the beginning of July 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had gripped the world, shutting down much of what had previously been taken for granted. Perhaps more significantly, it had laid a deep sense of trepidation on the world. On the fifth of the month, police raided the Jambanja, Unit L, market in the town of Chitungwiza in Zimbabwe. This had become commonplace: the authorities had instituted lockdown measures that severely restricted activity, and informal traders had been blamed for spreading the disease. The vendors attempted to salvage their stock and evade arrest, but the police action was especially aggressive. Boarding his vehicle, vendor Samson Chamunorwa Zharare suffered a bullet wound to his leg. He was dumped at a hospital, where the leg was nearly amputated.

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Terence Corrigan is an independent researcher, political consultant, writer, editor and illustrator. He is currently a research fellow at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in its Governance and African Peer Review Mechanism Programme and a policy fellow at the Institute of Race Relations (IRR).

Nicholas Lorimer

Nicholas Lorimer is a researcher, podcast host and analyst at the Institute of Race Relations. He hosts the Daily Friend Show and Two Crickets in a Thorn Tree podcasts.