BY DUDUZILE NDLUKULWANI
GOVERNMENT should stop demolishing informal traders’ properties and allow a smooth transition to smart cities and towns, Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) has said.
The call came as the army and municipal workers have been demolishing illegal structures in most cities, including driving out illegal vendors from city centres.
“Given that the informal sector is the main source of employment for the majority of Zimbabweans, the actions by the government are causing untold human suffering at a time when citizens are grappling with the continually deteriorating economic and social conditions,” the organisation said in a statement yesterday.
About 85% of Zimbabweans are not formally employed, according to africacheck.org. Most of these are in the informal sector.
“The government must stop demolishing informal traders’ properties forthwith and allow a smooth transition to ‘smart cities and towns’. The government must compensate informal traders for their assets and wares lost and destroyed during demolitions. In case of evictions, notice of 90 days minimum should be served to the concerned informal traders.”
Zimcodd also viewed the operation as ironic, saying it was being carried out when the government was calling for national dialogue aimed at nation-building.
The organisation also recommended that government comes up with a legal framework so as to formalise informal trading.
“Government should come up with an inclusive legal framework towards formalising informal trading in support of small-scale income-generating projects to achieve its Agenda 2030,” the coalition recommended.
“Dialogue and restoration of trust between government and the informal sector is long overdue. This should emerge from a broad-based consultation among all stakeholders.”