by Constance Chitombo

Following the unlawful removal of informal traders at Jambanja market in Chitungwiza as of court ruling of 2010, ZCIEA has since intervened helping them to regain their prowess through legal action.

ZCIEA’s legal representative wrote a letter to the Chitungwiza Municipality and Zimbabwe Republic Police ordering them to desist from harassing informal traders by interfering with their lawful business.

Informal traders who operate at Jambanja market were living in distress of being harassed by police and council confiscating their goods, destroying their stalls and some being arrested. The police  and council went on to give the informal traders at Jambanja a 30 minutes ultimatum to vacate from the market else they were going to face demolition.

ZCIEA in 2010 obtained a high court ruling which allows informal workers and traders to work freely without disturbances at Jambanja market and prohibited the municipality and their agents from interfering in any manner with their lawful business operations.

Chitungwiza Municipality has been collecting revenue from informal traders and stopped in 2017 saying they want to computerize them and numbering their tables but have to displace them from their source of living despite knowing the court order. They continued to pester them by destroying their market stalls and barring them from carrying on with their business activities at Jambanja market.

Through its legal representative, ZCIEA has intervened in safeguarding the work place for members at Jambanja and they are doing their business activities freely without fear from the police and city council.

One informal trader name withheld said that ZCIEA has indeed intervened and now they function at Jambanja Market freely.

“I am so grateful to what ZCIEA has done for us, we were living in fear of terror the police and council were displaying towards us by destroying our working place, confiscating our goods and displacing us from our source of living but now we are free to operate at Jambanja”, He said.

ZCIEA Secretary General Mr Wisborn Malaya said the organisation is indeed working towards its mandate which is to safeguard the welfare of informal traders by promoting and protecting their interests and hoping that the government and local governance will decriminalize the work of the informal traders.

“It is the uttermost hope of the organisation that the government of Zimbabwe through all the local authorities will come to the reality check of the informal economy’s contribution in the society. This should be realized through decriminalizing the work of the informal traders and cultivating a political will attitude to transform their activities” said Mr Malaya.