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ZCIEA strengthens the voice of informal economy workers by developing the formalization strategy in Zimbabwe.

by Trisher Mpatsi

On the 7th of September 2021, the Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Association (ZCIEA) in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) held a radio program on Formalization with Radio Zimbabwe. The program was aimed at awareness-raising on the need to recognize and formalize Informal economy activities. ZCIEA Masvingo People with Disability (PWD) chair Moses Chitombo, Sarudzai Dube Bulawayo Women’s Chair, and ZCIEA Information Officer Fungai Munetsi were interviewed.
ZCIEA PWD Chair Mr. Chitombo pointed out that it is essential to recognize people in the Informal Economy and their contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He also voiced his concern on the continual harassment of informal economy workers and traders and the need to update the outdated by-laws so that they can accommodate informal economy workers and the creation of business linkages between the informal and formal businesses. Lastly, he highlighted the importance of social protection on informal workers including the need for medical aid, pension, and disability grants.
Bulawayo Women’s Chair Sarudzai Dube emphasized the importance of registration of informal economy workers so that they can operate freely without any harassment from the local authority. She also commented on the need for conducive market places which also accommodate the special needs of People with Disabilities (PWD).
ZCIEA information officer Mr. Munetsi vocalized that the creation of business linkage is of great importance because it’s a roadmap to the formalization of the informal economy. He also stressed out that conducive marketplaces enable informal economy workers to produce quality services hence contributing more to the Nation’s GDP. He concluded that every informal economy worker should have a funeral cover as part of social protection and that informal workers should have a fixed tax.
The issues that were highlighted include the need for recognition and respect for the informal economy, development of linkages between formal businesses and informal businesses, market access, and infrastructure, financial inclusion, social protection, and devolution as part of key advocacy issues by ZCIEA to its members. As ZCIEA we hope this level of effort of awareness-raising on formalization will promote more appreciation by the government of Zimbabwe to regulate Informal Economy Activities in a harmonious way towards 2025 National Development Strategy 1.

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