20 January 2017
ZCIEA’s RESPONSE TO THE JOINT STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING HON .J.G.MOYO AND MAYOR OF HARARE CLLR B.G. MANYENYENI ON THE REMOVAL OF VENDORS IN THE CBD USING ARMED FORCES.
As Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations we are very much disappointed and disheartened by the barbaric, inhuman and evil reaction by the Ministry of Local Government and City of Harare on the vendors operating in the CBD. We thought such uncivilised and uninformed ultimatums of threatening vendors without addressing them directly and hear their views on their trading in streets had gone with former President Mugabe and former minister Kasukuwere. It is a shame to realise that Minister July Moyo having gone into the post of Local Government Minister shortly without any stakeholders’ consultations or preview of the environment just applies an operation Murambatsvina’s mentality on the poor, innocent citizens of Zimbabwe who equally have a right to life and employment.
Whilst as ZCIEA we are still in the process of negotiating with the Government through various Ministries , Parliament and even the Office of the President on best models that can be used to harmonise the operation of informal traders (vendors inclusive) basing on the four proposed Policy Positions to legalise the operations of Informal Economy within a friendly framework, this goes with an even proposed temporary measure to harness the vending in the CBD whilst providing space to collectively have a permanent solution. See attached Proposed temporary measure and four Policy positions. It will be a disaster or catastrophe to implement such an operation. The laws and regulations which govern the informal economy are very much outdated. This fact cannot continue to be ignored where the 95% of termed workers are informal. As President Mnangagwa has said in his inauguration speech that everyone has a role to play for the recovery of the economy, this does not exclude informal economy (vendors). Such an opportunity is key to be given to the informal economy with full respect of their contribution to the country’s GDP, Minister July Moyo must know in all his decision making on the vendors that the situation was not created by workers in the informal economy, the workers in the informal economy are casualties of poor and failed economic policies and decisions by the government of Zimbabwe. Our full participation on 18 November 2017 operation restore legacy and removal of former President Robert Mugabe was confident and hope of former army General Chiwenga’s national address to restore human dignity. Descending armed forces on innocent, hardworking and defenceless vendors is an act of deceitful leadership on the affected.
We therefore, challenge Minister July Moyo and his working team to revisit their approach on addressing issues of critical concern such as typhoid, cholera outbreak, overpopulated vending through productive consultative action plan and positive engagement with the informal economy on the way forward where everyone benefits. We also urge the Minister not negatively describe the vendors using ugly words such arnachy, anathema and anachronistic, and declaration of war which treats vendors as if they are a product of their own making yet it is an outcome of failed economic policies by the Government. In the spirit of building Zimbabwe for the better we demand a consultative engagement meeting to address these issues compared to autocratic declaration. Zimbabwe is for us all and we all need a chance towards resuscitating it. As ZCIEA we have not ignored these challenges and we still propose for harmonised approaches to address the Harare CBD challenges since January 2017. We totally condemn issue of bringing all security forces on vendors. We believe dialogue is the proper way to address these challenges and not imposition of ultimatums which do not offer permanent solutions but rather causes chaos and confusion. We therefore urge Minister to follow up on these efforts and deliberations which we are making without victimising the targeted vendors.
ZCIEA SECRETARY GENERAL