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When a Government turns back of its Vendors

28 Sep 2018 at 07:31hrs | Views
The Zanu-PF government's obsession and decision to evict vendors from the city centre is barbaric contemptuous and disrespectful at all costs. Chasing away vendors will not yield any success while hiding behind the 'Cholera Myth' which has become the talk of the town as a result of the presence of vendors in the CBD. Mnangagwa and his cronies should chase the economy not the vendors, the current government should arrest unemployment rather than arresting innocent and hardworking vendors, before I skin the current government and the City Fathers for chasing away vendors from the CBD in Harare and some parts of the country, I would like to expose the greediness of the Vendors Association leader Stan Zvorwadza who was once a critic of Mugabe led government and suddenly has become a choir master of President Mnangagwa.

Stan Zvorwadza is a disgrace to the whole family of vendors who once had faith in his leadership but later abandoned their struggle due to the dirty coins of silver, how on earth can someone at one point called all the vendors to resist the Mugabe led government brutality towards his subordinates dramatically calls for people to rally behind a new captain under the same oppressive regime that have created more misery and pain towards the innocent citizens of Zimbabwe. Mr. Zvorwadza just like your surname you are pain to the vendors fraternity and your leadership was once cherished by many for your bravery but now you are in a wrong basket dinning and praising an oppressive regime which has failed to fulfil its promises to the masses since (2013) Stan Zvorwadza should now step down from his position and peacefully join Zanu Pf, rather than to represent the interest of Zanu Pf in the Vendors Association. Without doubt everybody wants to see sanity in the Sunshine City but chasing away vendors from undesignated vending cites, will that bring sanity? That one will be answered later.

The current government which calls itself the second republic under the Zanu Pf party, is the one which is responsible for the current economic crisis that have witnessed not only the mushrooming of vendors but serious unemployment in Zimbabwe. Zanu Pf led government has failed to live up to its 2.2 million jobs promises rather most Zimbabweans both skilled and unskilled have resorted to the streets of Harare for survival. Life have not been rosy in Zimbabwe and survival is now the name of the game while the game is called vending. The government  was not supposed to wipe out vendors before it had created jobs and this will prove to be fatal in due course, chasing vendors from undesignated sites its like "shooting innocent civilians from the back".

The hardworking Zimbabweans deserve better, but the Zanu Pf regime have been imposing itself on people since 2000. The Government has indicated that police will not be withdrawn anytime soon as commuters are having a torrid time travelling back home as the law enforcement agents often engage in running battles with kombi drivers who break the law with impunity.  The prolonged battles between vendors and the police will not yield anything rather than start an unwanted civil unrest. The Zanu Pf led government should go back to the drawing board and arrest real economic problems. Real solutions to manage vending must first appreciate the role these vendors serve, these activities as their livelihood, and find ways to manage their commercial activity with transport, public spaces, residential and other key land use activities. The solution should be to designate accessible vending spaces for both patrons and vendors or standardise vending venues and sizes that allow vending but also respect the need for ease of traffic in public spaces. This chaos has reached a tipping point, as some Zanu PF functionaries have no idea of lawfulness. The vendors question is inextricably tied to this. We now wonder what constitutes of lawfulness and formality, the MDC-A controlled councils or Zanu PF government. It is clear by the sheer extent of street vending around the country that because of the nature of our economy and unemployment levels vending is here to stay.

Real solutions to manage vending must first appreciate the role these vendors serve, these activities as their livelihood, and find ways to manage their commercial activity with transport, public spaces, residential and other key land use activities. The solution should be to designate accessible vending spaces for both patrons and vendors and  standardise vending venues and sizes that allow vending but also respect the need for ease of traffic in public spaces. Instead of trying to outlaw street vending, and public convenience and efforts must be focused on organising these activities for the public good licensing vendors, not only from Zanu PF groups as alleged, designating street vending zones and times, providing mobile stalls to vendors that suit their types of wares and even facilitating access to microfinance for vendors. The vendors provide a necessary service, but the question is how councils

good. There is no mistaking, however, the fact that the legitimate vendors need to be able to pursue their trade. One of the major problems though has been the last-minute attempt to meet with a problem that will always recur. Should the government and the City Fathers continue chasing vendors surely a Big No?

Knowledge Hakata is a cutting edge political analyst and the co-founder of Democy Cratos. He can be contacted on waterlessprings@gmail.com

Source - Knowledge Hakata
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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