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Vendors should respect the law to preserve our capital city

29 Sep 2016 at 10:38hrs | Views
Street vending is pervasive across the globe, particularly in the developing world like Zimbabwe. It provides an important source of earnings for the unemployed especially in the urban areas, as well as a source of relatively inexpensive goods and services for residents. In the due process, vendors are breaking the law to which authorities are seeking a redress. The saddening aspect is that, vending has been infiltrated by cunning politicians that seek to manipulate them for gaining political mileage.

Street vendor social capital has extended into formal political spheres, particularly by the MDC-T activists, like Promise Mkwananzi and Sten Zvorwadza, who normally front the vendors associations. This cajoled groups of street traders seeking leverage with prominent politician(s) or political parties in order to retain their vending sites.

In spite all odds, it is an indisputable fact that, street vendors are an integral part of urban economies around the world, offering easy access to a wide range of goods and services in public spaces. They sell everything from fresh vegetables to prepared foods, from building materials to garments and crafts, from consumer electronics to auto repairs to haircuts.

It is a living fact that, most street vendors provide the main source of income for their households, bringing food to their families and paying school fees for their children.

Many vendors, if they are formalised, try to keep the streets clean and safe for their customers and provide them with friendly personal service. They create jobs, not only for themselves but for others like porters, security guards, transport operators, storage providers among others. And many generate revenue for cities through payments for licenses and permits, fees and fines, and certain kinds of related taxes. This is not the case of illegal vendors that are sprouting on every part of town daily.

Generally, the formal economy is characterised by registered economic transactions. On the other hand, the informal economy comprises all economic transactions which go unrecorded, unlicensed, untaxed and unregulated. The Harare lamenting vendors are resisting establishing and operating legally, due to fear for payment of taxes to authorities. Government intervened previously and allocated land to needy vendors for them to set-up stalls, for example, at corner Seke / Cripps roads in Harare. But no-one was willing to go and take that space for vending purposes up to this day.

It is quite critical that Harare Municipal Police and the Zimbabwe Republic Police should work hard to rid the capital city of the illegal vendors that are contributing in reducing the status of the capital city. This would ensure a clean place instantly which looks appealing, considering the fact that cleanliness raises the ordinary to the extraordinary. It is obvious that we need to keep our city clean to raise its aesthetic value. Everyone wants to live in a beautiful place. We cannot have a situation whereby a few take the effort to make our own cities beautiful, while others whine and complain.

There's nothing more important than our good health in Harare, that's our principal capital asset. Keeping the city clean goes a great way in keeping us all as health residents. That should provide enough inspiration to start making a few changes for a cleaner city.

Garbage that is not attended to, garbage lying on the road or in uncovered bins serve as perfect breeding grounds for pathogens and germs. Why allow germs to form? Why allow them to exist in the first place? Let's close the Pandora box. It will reduce the spread of all communicable diseases such as, cholera and typhoid which are currently haunting the capital city regularly.

Tourists throng clean destinations where the possibility of acquiring diseases is minimal. It is a very sensible thought. Nobody would want to spend their vacation lying in bed. Hence keeping Harare clean will easily lure more tourists and make tourism a booming industry in the city.

When vendors sell from every corner of the city there are many people who dump their garbage on the roads. This is bad. With clean surroundings we can be rest assured that you will never have to inhale the unpleasant smell of rotting garbage that often litters the roads.

Businesswise, research shows that multinational companies are most likely to be set up in places which are picturesque. While nothing can be done about natural landscapes; the scenic beauty can always be increased by keeping the place devoid of garbage. If we put more effort we can definitely make our city look clean and beautiful and attractive to business.

By luring more companies; we will also be increasing the employment opportunities for all the people. More companies mean more jobs which mean more income.

All said in enerst, the vendors are urged to be law compliant to make themselves respectable citizens, lest they remain in cat-rat relationship with authorities.

Source - Sparkleford Masiyambiri
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