Vendors confront govt

HARARE - Riot police flooded Harare’s Central Business District yesterday in a futile bid by authorities to thwart thousands of vendors who were demonstrating against a Friday deadline for them to move off the streets.

The baton-wielding police barricaded some streets as the placard-waving vendors demonstrated peacefully against their planned eviction.

The street traders’ representative organisations that participated in yesterday’s demonstrations included the National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz), Nehanda Traders Association (NTA), and the Zimbabwe Informal Sector Organisation (Ziso) demonstrators.

Clad in bibs, the vocal protesters waved placards written, “No to vendorphobia” and “musatitumire masoja nemapurisa kutidzinga mustreet (Please don’t send the military and the police to clear us from the streets”.

In a surprising turn of events, some anti-riot From Page 1

police tried to stop the demonstrators from getting to Parliament, despite a High Court order that had granted the vendors this right.

In the end, the vendors were able to present their petition to the august House, requesting the government to stop their pending eviction from the streets.

Chairperson of NTA, Keith Charumbira, told the Daily News yesterday that the government should first hold talks with vendors before embarking on the eviction exercise.

He said it was absurd for officials who were not familiar with the vending industry to make the kind of decisions that they had made without consulting the affected parties.

“This is where our livelihood is as this is the sector that is now running the country due to unemployment.

“Government must not evict us from the streets before they implement proper solutions for us. When we leave these streets our families will suffer, as children will not be able to go to school and families will go hungry,” Charumbira said.

Navuz vice chairperson, Douglas Shumbayaonda, said Parliament should use its powers to stop the government from effecting “this heinous exercise.”

“Government cannot just chase away the multitudes of people coming out of the closed industries.

“Most of these people are breadwinners. Parliament should take it upon itself to live up to its mandate and represent the masses and stop the government from carrying out this evil act.

“Telling us to leave the streets is tantamount to sentencing us to death. We are constantly told of the designated sites but these places are controlled by space barons who are siphoning money from vendors daily,” Shumbayaonda said.

The former high school teacher said vendors did not want the government to extend the eviction date, but instead wanted authorities to abandon it completely.

Bulawayo East MDC legislator, Thabitha Khumalo, said when Zanu PF was campaigning during the disputed 2013 polls, it had promised 2,2 million jobs, but had failed dismally to fulfil that promise.

She said the government should not be “heartless” to the plight of vendors, as the traders had families to look after.

“As long as government does not give people jobs they will just remain on the streets. Open up industries and the streets will be empty, no one will resist going to a formal job,” she said.

Comments (4)

during the days of the unity gvt, their was some talk of a process of national mutual healing/reconciliation .... For what crimes? Was the murambatsvina genocide to be part of the reconciliation procedure? After the vendors have been cleared and it has come to pass, will there not come a time during which national consensus candidates to paramounts for healing action for the aftereffects of the gukuravendor action possibly to correct the image of the state in the eyes of the troubled citizenry.

maombo david - 25 June 2015

Our Zim brothers and sisters in the diaspora are now coming to Zim with Forex to enjoy their summer holidays and Gvt will want to sanitize the streets ahead of their visit otherwise Forex revenue will be lost if they opt to visit other orderly countries because of the dirty streets and chaos here.

Mula - 26 June 2015

zanu chiwororo

stewart - 26 June 2015

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