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Destruction of vendor stalls around Harare CBD

ZCIEA PRESS STATEMENT ON THE DESTRUCTION OF VENDORS STALLS AROUND THE HARARE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT (CBD)

Vendors’ stalls around the Central Business District (CBD) have been under destruction since the 3rd of August 2018. The markets at Copacabana and forth street were destroyed without notice leaving these informal economy workers with no choice but to lay their wares on the ground.

Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA) is deeply saddened by the act and concerned with the undisclosed power of authority for such action. As an organization which works with and represents informal economy workers, ZCIEA sees this action as a silent form of harassment and torture of the innocent citizens who had high hopes on the incoming government. The big question at hand is on whose instruction and authority is the City of Harare Spokesperson, Mr Michael Chideme speaking and acting? Moreso, without any consultation, prior announcement or notification to the affected.

The latest labour force survey (2014) reveals that the unemployment rate in Zimbabwe has gone up to 94.5%. As a result most of these unemployed people rely on vending to fend for their families, thus destruction of vendors’ stalls translates to the destruction of their livelihoods and is a sure way of sinking them into abject poverty.

Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA) has taken a strong action in setting up modalities to engage on the matter. The current challenge though is that the President elect has not been sworn in yet and the Ministers have not been appointed yet. This current status therefore disables any attempts at lobbying and advocacy.

The organization abhors the deplorable act of demolishing vendors’ stalls without prior notice and engagement of the people affected and in the absence of a clear, authentic voice of authority and government office or Ministry so soon after the 2018 Harmonised elections. The Spokesperson of the City of Harare should take time to listen to “the voice of the people. . .” and stop listening to his own voice.

Part of the Zimbabwe National Constitution reads:

We the people of Zimbabwe. . .
“Resolve by the tenets of this Constitution to commit ourselves to build a united, just and prosperous nation founded on values of transparency, equality, freedom, fairness, honesty and the dignity of hard work”

Vendors are human too and above all, legitimate citizens of Zimbabwe who are working against all odds to make an honest living. Let the above National Constitution excerpt apply to them as well.

#We Are not Criminals
Respect Our Working Rights
AND
NOTHING FOR US WITHOUT US

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