Vendors demand to meet Kasukuwere over harrassment, wares confiscation


Vendors have demanded a meeting with Local Government minister Savour Kasukuwere to discuss their continued harassment and abuse allegedly at the hands of local authorities in cities and towns.


Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere
Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere

The National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz), in a letter to Kasukuwere, said hawkers continued to suffer unwarranted arrest and confiscation of their goods by municipal police.

“We write to you to express our deep concern over the continued confiscation of vendors’ goods by the municipal police in towns and cities across the country,” part of the letter signed by Navuz director, Value Mugagara read.

“It is our view that this kind of victimisation, which has also involved physical and sexual abuse, is totally uncalled for as the vendors are merely seeking to make an honest living through selling on the streets at a time unemployment is rife in the country.”

Vending has become a source of livelihood for hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans due to worsening unemployment.

But national police and municipal police often fight running battles with hawkers, particularly those operating at undesignated sites.

“We also submit that the formalisation of the informal economy would certainly require an all-stakeholders approach, hence, our request for a meeting with your office possibly within 14 days from the date of receipt of this letter,” Mugagara said.

“We are concerned that vendors have been turned into cash cows for corrupt municipal police officers, who demand bribes on a daily basis. We are convinced these rogue officers are working in cahoots with their superiors. We would be most grateful, if you could afford us an opportunity to discuss the above issues with your office.”

Last week, hundreds of vendors staged a demonstration at Town House in Harare, demanding that council officials stop confiscating of their goods until they have addressed the issue of corruption and allocated them suitable vending sites.

The vendors demanded that Kasukuwere should intervene and suspend corrupt municipal police officers.

Council, on the other hand, told the vendors that they should sell their wares at designated sites, failure of which they would be dealt with according to the city by-laws.

Kasukuwere on Tuesday said he was out of office as he was currently seized with writing examinations.


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