Ximex Mall was once one of the most famous shopping locations in Harare Zimbabwe but the collapse of the country’s economy meant the Ximex Mall was unsustainable..When it closed, the street traders and illegal venders moved in, making it their own and turning what was once one of the city’s best shopping malls into a hive of down-market activity.
Ximex Mall has an interesting history spanning back decades. The property developer Sam Levy converted a car showroom into a department store in the 1960s and then into a shopping mall however with the economic crisis that tore Zimbabwe apart, the mall closed and was sold on for redevelopment. The new owners, NSSA, had plans to build a multi-storey office and shopping destination however while closed, it became a hub for street vendors trading illegally and selling items such as phones. Police were constantly raiding the building to shut it down however the street dealers returned. Many people in the economically ravaged country took chances where they could to make ends meet. Ximex Mall became a waste ground with rubbish piling up in various parts of the mall...
Activities at Ximex Mall
The mall became a famous center and got the name Trade Center and the Hustlers' Paradise because of the hype of activities and transactions that happened there.
At the height of the economic meltdown in Zimbabwe when the country recorded world record hyper inflation and high rates of unemployment the mall became a hive for vendors who plighted their trade in and around the mall.The vending in and around the mall became so famous and the mall gained fame as a hustler's paradise where young unemployed youth made money and where people could get anything they wanted especially phones ,cell phone lines and laptops.As Zimbabwe’s economic crisis deepened in the 2000s and the formal sector shrank, the informal economy burgeoned and sustained many livelihoods this also contributed to the popularity of vending at the mall .
Haven for Forex dealers
The parallel foreign exchange market, which is usually created in response to foreign exchange scarcity in the formal economy contributed greatly to the emergence and dominance of forex dealers who operated at Ximex mall. Through Burning Money ,the dealers became so powerful and famous and their turf Ximex Mall also enjoyed the fame that came with the forex dealers.The forex dealers were affected by the introduction of a multi currency system during the Government of National Unity and they disappeared from the streets as well as from the mall.
Resurfacing of Forex Dealers at Ximex mall
The escalating liquidity crunch in 2017 characterised by severe cash shortages took money burning to another level in Zimbabwe. The Bond Notes which had been introduced as a surrogate currency with a similar value with the United States of America Dollar influenced the rampant money burning and saw the resurfacing of money changers at the mall.
Ximex Mall evictions 2013
Tenants at the mall were evicted by the owners of the mall who wanted to pave way for the construction of a 11 storey building.