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LETTERS: Muguti must abandon sledge hammer approach

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THE Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (Viset) notes with concern recent remarks by Harare Metropolitan and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti in a local daily newspaper, where he issued a seven-day ultimatum to businesses he described as acting outside the law in the capital.

While Viset holds no brief for anyone operating outside the laws of the country, we are particularly drawn to Muguti’s claim that as much as US$250 000 a day is being pocketed by space barons in highly populated market areas such as Mbare Musika, Glen View and Mupedzanhamo.

It is a fact that our membership are the ones who are victims of these space barons who are fleeced on a daily basis in collusion with corrupt council officials and politicians.

We have, in actual fact, constantly spoken on the need to transform the manner in which business is conducted, in particular at Mbare Musika, advocating for decongestion through decentralisation of markets and even better management systems at Mbare Farmers Market in order to safeguard traders from unscrupulous middlemen better known in local parlance as makoronyera, but to no
avail.

Mupedzanhamo has been closed since 2020, ostensibly as a part of COVID-19 containment strategies, but to date, it remains closed with certain space barons collecting daily trading fees from those selling on the perimeter wall of the market.

These space barons are said to openly work in connivance with corrupt council officials.

We would want to urge Muguti to first of all ensure the immediate cessation of the operations of these barons who are in essence criminals, and the reopening of markets such as Mupedzanhamo, before the blitz he has spoken about is embarked upon.

Time and again, we have seen these space barons walk freely while informal traders suffer demolitions, and this must be stopped.

Prosecution of these space barons must happen if government is sincere in ensuring that we all have equality at law.

Council must also enact measures that ensure there is adequate market space in sought-after areas like Mbare and to that end, we still await construction of similar facilities at Shawasha grounds.

Lastly, we hope that Muguti will desist from applying the sledge hammer approach and adopt a collaborative spirit with informal economy actors in keeping with the formalisation strategy being spearheaded by the Public Service and Social Welfare
ministry.

Threats and ultimatums have no place in an informal economy such as ours._ Viset


Zanu PF, CCC must rein in errant supporters

FOLLOWING the gruesome murder of Moreblessing Ali, a Citizens for Coalition for Change (CCC) member in Nyatsime, Heal Zimbabwe has noted increased tension and cases of political violence among political parties.

Ahead of the memorial service of Ali on June 14, 2022, there were fierce clashes between CCC and Zanu PF youths.

In the process, threats of violence and intimidation were issued and were followed up by retaliatory violence, including burning of several houses belonging to rival political activists.

At present, Heal Zimbabwe notes that the police are seized with investigations on the circumstances surrounding the violence.

Heal Zimbabwe urges all citizens to shun violent behaviour and uphold peace as the police conclude investigations.

All political parties, particularly Zanu PF and CCC, must rein in their errant supporters who might be bent on perpetrating violence as the country prepares for elections in 2023. These recent incidences of violence and arson are a testament to how the country has failed to decisively deal with the demon of violence.

We call on the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, a commission charged with the promotion of national healing, unity and cohesion and the peaceful resolution of disputes to accelerate its efforts to address conflicts and violence arising in the country.

Heal Zimbabwe further implores political parties to embrace peaceful means of resolving political differences.
Heal Zimbabwe


Patriotic Bill could backfire for Zanu PF

ZANU PF’s intention to fast-track the Patriotic Bill could backfire on them.

Party chief whip Pupurai Togarepi and all other proponents of this Bill do not seem to fully grasp the word “patriot”.

The dictionary defines a patriot as a person who vigorously supports his country and its way of life.

Zanu PF supporters don’t seem to support the country ahead of their party and the extravagant lifestyles of their chefs.

They are confused as to what their country is and get it mixed up with their party.

For their edification, a country is made up of citizens, not only a group of people who support one political party.

Togarepi claims government is tolerant to all views, but it has never shown tolerance to divergent views and has always had to revert to violence against the general citizenry and opposition party members to force them to vote Zanu PF at every election.

This is not patriotism, but falls under the definition of terrorism.

Zimbabweans are generally peace-loving and have a well-established hierarchy away from politics.

This is even entrenched in the Constitution. The chiefs and headmen are the leaders of the rural communities and government constitutes leaders of the political sphere.

Unfortunately, Zanu PF has politicised the traditional leadership to become an appendage of the ruling party and not an independent branch of the citizenry.

Note how they take sides threatening to evict people who support CCC and before that MDC, and get involved in partisan food distribution all to win votes for Zanu PF.

If they were truly patriotic, they would stay out of partisan politics and support their subjects irrespective of their political beliefs.

Can the police and soldiers who use force to further the aims of their political masters be called patriotic when they flout the promises they make when being attested to protect the country (citizenry) and Constitution? Surely not!
A Mbire


 

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