Mberikwazvo Edwin, Kudenga Mugove
Abstract: This part of a broad study that sought to investigate the psychological effects of the presence of street children in Harare Central Business District to business operators. This particular study focused on the activities of street children that affected the operations of business operators in Harare Central Business District. The study sought to identify the activities by street children which psychologically affected business operators. The study used the qualitative approach to get business operators experiences with street children. The research used questionnaires as research instruments. Forty (40) questionnaires were distributed to gather data from business operators in Harare Central Business District. Twenty seven (27) business operators responded to the questionnaires. Since street children are not found all over the Harare Central Business District (CBD) but specific areas dotted around the Central Business District (CBD), the study used convenience sampling. The study found out that street children were involved in stealing from both the operators and their customers. The street children also begged from the operators and their customers. Street children were also engaged in touting which disturbed customers and in urinating and defecating publicly which was a menace to customers. At times the street children smoked marijuana and consumed alcohol in the public. The study recommended that it is imperative for the government through the Ministry of Public Service and Social Welfare to put policies that cater for social welfare of disadvantaged children. The Government and NGOs should plan and implement public awareness campaigns on the importance of the publics contribution to assist street children have a better life. The corporate sectors should also be urged to contribute to the alleviation of the street children life style. This can be done through the promotion of corporate social responsibilities. The government should make effective legislation and ensure strict implementation of the laws for example execution of Child Protection and Adoption Act. The government should undertake measures to provide free primary level education to street children in Zimbabwe and to provide for the associated costs of education for such disadvantaged children.
Keywords: street children, business operators, Harare Central Business District, touting and begging