Government, vendors to square up in court

Organisations representing vendors have said they will take the government to court if it fails to negotiate with them to find a lasting solution to the problem of hawking space and other issues.

BY Everson Mushava

This came after Local Government minister July Moyo last week threatened to use the military to drive vendors and pirate taxies operating at undesignated points out of the streets to restore sanity in cities and towns.

The vendors were given a 48-hour ultimatum to leave the streets or face drastic military action.

But barely 12 hours after the threats, the vendors vowed to stay put and instead gave the government a counter 48-hour ultimatum to create jobs so that all vendors can leave the streets.

The Vendors’ Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (Viset) said the legal route would be taken if the talks fail to resolve impasse.

“We are baffled by Moyo’s remarks to the effect that vendors must move to designated sites as if the municipalities are able to provide such sites,” Viset leader Samuel Wadzai said.

“Viset implores the City of Harare and other local authorities throughout the country to do an assessment in respect of the consequences on the livelihoods of millions of vendors and their dependants.

“Viset will this week meet with the Ministry of Local Government and the Harare mayor with a view to finding a more humane alternative to the intended evictions, but in the event that such doesn’t yield positive results, the organisation will approach the courts.”

He said government should feel for the vendors who have been subjected to raids from municipal police officers, who also solicit for bribes to spare their wares. Wadzai said the government had a responsibility to decongest the city, but this should be done with a human face and negotiation was the best way to solve the problem.

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7 Comments

  1. Mugabe removed vendors and soon enough he found himself jobless. Vending has become an integral part of our life and until we have enough jobs to absorb all of the unemployed government should never underestimate the power vendors wilde in making and breaking kings.

  2. Mugabe removed vendors and soon enough he found himself jobless. Vending has become an integral part of our life and until we have enough jobs to absorb all of the unemployed government should never underestimate the power vendors wilde in making and breaking kings…

  3. I find the situation of all vendors a sad story. These are parents and youths trying to make an honest living in a country that has an almost non existent industry. They have school going children , old people to look after, sometimes its the very old people selling tomatoes to look after their orphaned grand kids. Then you find someone being very excited to be seen harassing such people off the streets in the name of cleaning the city. What cleaning what clearing when the current economic situation does not provide an alternative for the unemployed. Just because you are sitting in that office and gaining from corruption does not mean everybody else is making it out there. Instead you should be grateful to God that you have that job and not joining the majority of the citizens in vending in order to fend for your family. I’m not a vendor but just imagining myself in that situation makes me pray that a sensible solution be reached by the local government and the vendors to allow everyone to survive in this time. My input would be allow the vendors to sell their wares at a certain specified time say between 4.30pm to 8pm on the streets, this is to give them much needed relief as they can at least raise at least $5 to take care of their families. During the day vending can be banned to allow flow of traffic and movements for business, once business is over then give vendors a chance to fend for their families from the few employed people as they go back home. Yes negotiating in order to reach a lasting solution and understanding is the way to go, not threatening to unleash the army on poor, hungry and unarmed vendors! Leave the good army alone its not your weapon that you can use willy nilly. However on the issue of mishika shikas, those ones are a pure nuisance as well as dangerous to pedestrians, they have no sense of care at all..i call upon the police to deal mercilessly with these as lives have been lost and many people injured due to their reckless driving and most of the times while drunk too. There is no order at all pamishika shika so i have no pity for them, remove them. Thank you

  4. Vendors have gone nuts how can there square up in court for engaging in illegal acts, something has gone wrong with this group and its handlers. I think the fact that there are remaining put is good enough and there wait for the next move by the government and it should give the new Minister of local government a rude awekening as its turning out that its not going to be as easy as talking a walk in the park, and if not careful this vendor crap will bring him down.

    1. tawanda mupandiri

      NO OFFENSE,ask yourself,why are vendors crawling in the streets instead of being formally employed?How many vendors are jobless yet educated and deserving a descent living?What alternative is the government tabling for that majority of vendors? and Finally,Is that the core or priority to focus on the national agenda lyk srsly lets not major the miner,better start doing something about awakening this giant economy and implement policies that resuscitates our industries and common sense will tell you that no educated person will opt for street vending!!!

  5. if the govt bows down to pressure by these criminals then something is really wrong because i cant imagine a minister negotiating with criminals so that they can carry on with their criminal activities. vendors should go back and sell their wares in their respective locations coz no one lives in the cbd. if we want tomatoes toenda kumusika kumaraini ikoko kwete muna first. sure kugochera chibage mucbd.. nyaraiwo ma vendor. hongu mabasa arikunetsa asi hazvina kunzi musatengese asi kuti endai kunzvimbo dzinotengeserwa. i second the motion to bring military in and use maximum force kuti vaende kunobvumirwa kugochera chibage

    1. tawanda mupandiri

      my friend,if you are objective about the vendor issue,lets see,driving them out to the outskirts of town will have its pros and cons.For instance,the CBD will improve on cleanliness.However litter will always be the order of the day because people will food into the CBD,others will buy from stores and shops but still litter the CBD because the culture of throwing litter in beans is not inherent in us.Furthermore most vendors come from less privileged societies such as Mbare,Budiriro,Epworth,guess what,already the small market at home is saturated thus these vendors after being driven out will go back to their normal duties which are murdering,raping,stealing,burglary,drug abuse, and so on,in general the crime rate will increase at an alarming rate.They say when the problem gets bigger and complex,solutions have to be longterm and sustainable. Kwete zvemahumbwe izvo guys,kune vana nemhuri inotorarama coz of that and ndozviripo. The moment someone speaks and decides for other’s fate without looking at both sides ,then that judgment is impaired and deserve to be thrown away.Gafa IGafa(@ twenty-five)

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