Audio: Vendors defy army

STREET vendors, mostly in Harare and Bulawayo, on Tuesday vowed to continue selling their wares at undesignated sites and threatened a violent showdown with the army after the country’s security chiefs on Monday gave them a seven-day ultimatum to relocate to designated selling points.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA/MOSES MATENGA/NQOBILE BHEBHE

With growing support from opposition parties and civil society groups, the vendors reacted angrily to the army’s directive and blasted government for resorting to use of military force after failing to create jobs for the majority of the population which has now turned to vending.

Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, in the company of members of the military planning wing, the Joint Operations Command (JOC), said the government would “deal with leaders of the vendor associations” if they failed to remove “their people” from the streets within seven days.

The Zimbabwe Informal Sector Organisation (Ziso) warned of an impending confrontation if government resorted to the use of force instead of creating jobs.

“This thinking is informed by a deep-seated paranoia within Zanu PF,” the organisation said.

“The Zanu PF government is well aware and afraid of the swelling numbers in the streets of Harare and other cities.”

National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) said there was no need to deploy the military as the country was not in a state of emergency.

“Inviting the army and the police to fight vendors is as good as declaring war on livelihoods.

“Forceful removal of vendors across the country’s towns and cities will be reminiscent of the Gukurahundi of the early 1980s or even Operation Murambatsvina and we will not tolerate such manoeuvres to bring civil unrest in our country,” the organisation’s director Samuel Wadzai said. “This call is not only a declaration of war, but a clear demonstration of ignorance.”

He said more than 100 000 Navuz members would be affected if government carried through its threat as designated selling points in Harare could only accommodate 6 000 vendors.

While Navuz said it would urge its members to resist, two other organisations aligned to Zanu PF started mobilising their members out of the central business district (CBD) yesterday.

Navuz members who spoke to NewsDay said the government needed to come up with alternatives before its knee-jerk order was implemented.

“We are also giving them seven days to open industries and create jobs, failure of which we will then meet in the streets. If it is confrontation they want, then they will get that, but we are a peace-loving people and want to engage rather than fight,” a vendor, who declined to be identified, said.

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Harare Residents’ Trust director Precious Shumba said the army had no business interfering with civilian affairs.

“The mayor of Harare, by agreeing to this, is sending the people’s vote to waste, because whatever negative impact of this intervention, the councillors will be blamed for failing to deal with vendors’ issues, yet every Zimbabwean knows that to resolve the vendors’ issue, the economy has to be revived first, and job creation absorbs the majority of the people on the streets,” he said.

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni belongs to the main opposition MDC-T.

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai said the Zanu PF regime must not abuse the national army to cover up for its failures, while his party’s secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora threatened that the opposition would co-ordinate a confrontation with the military.

“We want to organise vendors to fight back,” he said. “These are citizens trying desperately to eke out an honest living in an environment with no other means of survival. Instead of turning the military against the people, (President Robert) Mugabe should create the jobs he promised.”

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights also condemned the army’s impending intervention, saying it was a direct violation of the Constitution.

“Such intervention by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in civilian affairs directly violates the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” the lawyer grouping said.

“ZLHR is concerned that the government is using the threat of military intervention to circumvent the administrative justice and constitutional rights of vendors involved and, more disturbingly, to instil fear in both the vendor community and the wider populace.”

The Committee of the People’s Charter said: “For the government, through JOC, to want to arbitrarily remove vendors from the CBD is an exercise in not only political repression, but crass hypocrisy.”
MDC Renewal Team spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the government should not punish vendors for its failures.

But Harare town clerk Tendai Mahachi insisted informal traders should relocate to designated sites.

“All vendors should be on approved sites within the next seven days, after which period law enforcement agents will move in to ensure total compliance,” he said. “The seven-day notice lapses on Monday June 8, 2015.”

In Bulawayo, Zanu PF Bulawayo Central district chairman Joe Chiyangwa said informal traders were the only remaining sector sustaining the economy.

“Remember a few years ago the very same vendors sustained the country during times of crisis,” Chiyangwa said. “Vending is the only industry left in this country, but we are chasing them away.”

Milton Sibanda, a vendor from Cowdray Park, said. “We are making an honest living on the streets and the government wants to send the army to evict us. What is our crime?”

Another one, Sithenjisiwe Nyathi, said it was shocking that the army was being deployed on defenceless civilians.

“All we want are proper selling points,” she said. “But all designated market stalls are occupied. What is our crime in a country where there are no jobs?

“I was retrenched and my husband is self-employed. The little money we are getting cannot sustain us.”

39 Comments

  1. Mubvumatsvina

    Zimbabwe Informal Sector Organisation (Ziso). Kwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa……

  2. This is what we have been waiting for – open warfare with the forces of the oppressor. Next Monday the peoples freedom will be complete. Matibili you better fly out of yhe country that day or we will also sort you out, you orrible golbin..

  3. Nģùkiosso Báddqawe

    The day of true liberation beckons.

  4. Manyenyeni unonyenyeneyi?

  5. Yaaa. Povo yaramba. But its simple. Povo should not wait for this crap. Start now. Hit hard soldiers families. Terrorise them heavily. That way its a civil mater. Tione kuti soja rinoenda kubasa here mukadzi waro arohwa ne povo. Its now dog eat dog ka.

    1. soja ramotaura nezvaro romamisa iri asekuru. kune vaimbozviti tiripano. hapana anotombobuda mumba make day irori. usadeerere zim army unofira mafufu segozho. chandoona izhowezhowe kumahofisi ekanzuru vanhu vachitsvaka kupiwa nzvimbo kwadzo dzokutenghesera. mind you havana kunzi musatengesa no vanzi tengeserai panzvimbo dzakakodzera chete. hapana hondo apa hondo hatiide. kunofa varombo vafumi vachisara mogoti maitei? mutemo mutemo ngautevedzwe. kupi kwamakaona guta rinoitiwa mbare musika zvakadaro?

  6. MaureenDWarnock

    my buddy’s ex-wife makes $88 /hr on the laptop . She has been laid off for 6 months but last month her pay was $12492 just working on the laptop for a few hours.

    try this web-site …… Fox81.Com

  7. Ma1 chaiwo ini zvangu ziiii

  8. Ngozi Yegodzva

    Let the soldiers come and we will deall with them. What we are seeing now are the final painful days of Matibili. This is our opportunity to finally kick out thw blood sucking Zanoids foe good. Rise and fight, Zimbahweans!.

    1. Vana godzva!!waratidza kuti uri godzva zveshuwa.masoja ekupi aunotaura nezvawo??hapana kana one anobuda kuenda mu pavement ne monday.Usazvisimbise pachikona kana kunyepera ma vendors mupepa muno.Above all,masoja haana kumboti ari kuuya kuzorova vanhu and vending haina kumborambidzwa but pekutengesera ndoo pane nyaya.Achatengesera mu pavement ndiye achabatwa ende munomamiswa zveshuwa.Mutemo mutemo ende musazvisimbise pa zvi corner.

  9. Ngozi Yegodzva

    Fight Matibili to the end, Zimbahweans!.

  10. shinga mwana wevhu. army isn’t mashef but those they will send to attack but will instead turn their guns against mashef acho. let monday come and see whats gonna happen. the people’s revolution has come. face fire with fire mwana wevhu

  11. amana zvorwadza tt our fellow brothers,sisters,mothers nd fathers r bein robbed off e opportunity of takin care of their families in ths harsh cruel jobless cntry…but let’s face it anaMoms vaye vemusika wht resistance cn ey offer kana boys rauya? vanourawazve

  12. Zanu must creat 2000000 jobs by 8 June 2015. If Zanu is thiking that people are afraid of the army they are dreaming. Vajaira kuvhundutsira vanhu sezvanoita pamaellections.

  13. MatibiliWaenda

    This is the time we were waiting for yu! We will be waiting for yu army…majaira manje thc tym we are prepared to cause a huge crisis. Pasi neZanu dzese dziripo!!! We want jobs, moneyM food not intimidation!

  14. WILLARD MUBVUMBI

    This wont happen becoz we Zimbabweans are the most cowards. A single police detail with a baton stick can control thousands of people. Hazviitike munyika muno nekuti tiri magwara chaiwo.

  15. Where are these disgnated places, ndodzirikuna Smon Mazorodze here uko, haha vanofa nenzara vakaenda ikoko kkk. Indegenise, empower, employ – Zimbabwe for you.

  16. they promised 2000000 jobs and they failed to deliver now vanhu varikuzama kuzviriritira just because hakuna Mabasa sure come monday topedzerana hapana kusiri. kufa taneta nadzo mbavha idzi

  17. Lets be true, Zimbabweans are a peaceful people. Most people mistake this for cowardice. The economy hasnt performed well to create enough jobs. The fewer entities that are operating are taxed heavily to support the nation. All we have to do is create a fair playing field between vendors corporate Zimbabwe. Let equity in taxation, from churches to traditional healers, from vendors to exclusive shops, from sweepers to executives. From “siyaso” to manufacturing plants. By o doing you restore sanity in the cities.

    Masoja musarove vanhu. You will create unwanted international attention and more sanctions which will not hurt or dear HE but your families. Remember who your enemy is? If you shed innocent blood its not your boss who will face the avenging spirits but your daughters.

    I believe every vendor has a good reason why they are sitting by the side of the road. Given an alternative they will not stay there. Its neither by choice but rather circumstances.

  18. Where are 2 million Jobs promised by maZANU? ZANU yapererwa!

  19. but some of these vendors are the ones who vote zanu big time. in bulawayo some of them especially those who sell mbambayila/ george silundika o fifth avenue openly campaign for robert and at the time of grace where in the forefront of telling us she is the one and at one time denouncing jb. its bad that they follow these leaders blindly. i see tb joshua’s prophecy coming to being. he said it will start small and become big.

  20. By the way, maBy-Elections ariko riinhi zviya? Pakuvhota maZim tiri shasha chaidzo, mira unzwe mathousands anobuda ipapa.. If I were you, I would boycotte the election, siyai masoja avhote ega, imi tsvakai mari mhuri dziwane raramo, not kusweropinza mbavha mabasa.

  21. zimbabwean soldiers are only good at abusing unarmed civilians like Dzamara.ku DRC they went and come back with their tails folded.(vakapeta miswe)

  22. Stupid British

    There is a white lady by the name Hall, at number 16 new march road in hillside harare. She demonised my president and the youth should descend upon her.

    1. If this white lady you (Stupid British) point out were to be killed will you really be at peace with yourself? Let not anger get the better of you for on the day of judgement you might be asked to account for your deeds and might be ashamed.

  23. I SUPPORT THE ARMY. VENDORS MUST GET OUT OF OUR CBD. WHY DO THEY THINK THEY AR THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN DO BUSINESS ANYWHERE AND ANYHOW, FOR FREE? NO! IT’S SDA THEIR PLIGHT HAD BEEN POLITICIED BY THOSE WHO FAILED TO REMOVE ZANUPF FROM POWER LEGALLY.

  24. garazviya Uefa final iriko riini

  25. Kuwawata kuchapera uku. Nyengerwai naTsvangirai wenyu. Iye anenge agere kuimba yeZanu yaanogara kuHighlands. Munokiiwa mukamama. Isoja iri kwete mapurisa eCity of Harare

  26. STUPID BRITISH

    There is a white lady by the name Hall, at number 16 newmarch in Hillside. She demonised and talked sh*t about president of Zimbabwe. The youths should descend heavily on her. This is Zim not Britain.

    1. stupid boy indeed.une ma youth ako??go there yourself.mbiti ye munhu.

  27. Do these goons think enjoy sharing Harare streets with speeding cars? It’s a rock and hard place kind of situation. A drowning man can clutch a serpent and this time they can face a gun without flinching. Try it ZANU PF and see that all along people were just tolerating you, not fearing per se.

  28. mashura chaiwoooo. ukaona nzara yava kuma barrack wobva waziva kuti nyika yototambudzwaaa. vari kutsvaga chikafu masoja enyu ayaaa saka vakuda kutorera ma vendor anotozvitamburirawooooo. musadaro guys…

  29. I don’t think forced eviction is the way to handle matters in this case. A wiser Economist would rather impose a heavy Tax System on the said vendors that they at least inject some cashflow into the economy. Leave them masquerading the streets and charge them some amount and automatically lightweights will skim themselves off. Just make sure Navuz registers all of them and each fills a Tax Return

  30. Its all an act of punishing the opposition electorate. common sense will tell one that all those at designated vending sites are openly Zanu people. there is no ways a neutral or opposition person can get a vending stall in Zim (unless you pay a bribe or pretend to be one of them). Going to siyaso, magaba, mpedzanhamo and the likes one can safely deduce its a phenomenon zanu rules the roost. As for those funny tents in town, branded with a zanu flag all over, its self proclaiming. either you toe the zanu line or die of hunger. Conclusively, those outside the zanu bracket are the ones found on the pavements and the axe is hovering on their heads.

  31. go ahead and disobey a lawfull order.. we shall stand on your graves. not mourning.

  32. kubvumidza commercial sex activities muchi banner vending so all vendors ought to join commercial sex org

  33. MukorekoreTavara.

    Shut up Stupid British! are you mad? how many white people demonize the president? Hey, white Lady,what you said about our president is nullified in the name of Jesus,amen. SORTED!

  34. MukorekoreTavara.

    l pray for peace. and, please GOD don’t let what I dreamt 3times come to pass.

  35. ndimi makavhota muchamama!!!!

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