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Bulawayo vendors blasts city council over harassment

by Stephen Jakes
16 Jan 2018 at 10:52hrs | Views
Bulawayo Vendors Trust Association has blasted the City council for continuing to harass traders in the city.

"BVTA is deeply concerned by the continued harassment of vendors and informal traders especially in Harare, and sporadic violent raids in our City of Bulawayo and other cities. Our partner organization Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) reports that there seems to be a directive from the new Government of Zimbabwe, through the Ministry of Local Government to effect the eviction of vendors from their places of work, which started on the 2nd of January 2018," said the association.

"BVTA is very disappointed and had hoped that the new dispensation would focus on reigniting the economy, reopen industries so that there are expanded opportunities for citizens and stick to its promise to let bygones be bygones, especially decriminalization of vending and informal trading and readily embrace each other in defining a new inclusive destiny for Zimbabwe."

"We reiterate our previous positions that vending and informal trading are a form of employment as provided for in Section 24 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which states that: "The and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must adopt reasonable policies and measures, within the limits of the resources available to them, to provide everyone with an opportunity to work in a freely chosen activity, in order to secure a decent living for themselves and families". It also states on Section 24; Subsection (b) the removal of restrictions that unnecessarily inhibit or prevent people from working and otherwise engaging in gainful economic activities."

The association urged the new government to intervene and instruct local authorities to reconsider their heavy handedness on vendors and informal traders.

"We refer to the inaugural speech of President Emmerson Mnangangwa, who emphasized the need to create conditions for an investment led economic recovery, that puts premium on job creation and tackle high levels of unemployment, while transforming the economic. We urge the government and its arms to stop the continued harassment of informal workers, as this is not the panacea and focus on addressing fundamental economic challenges facing the country through a clear economic recovery road-map," said the association.

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