The so called deadline to vendors to leave CBD is a denial of the economic decline and disaster facing Zimbabwe today. It is apparent that vending is the only informal employment currently available in Zimbabwe due to underemployment and unemployment. We are faced here with a sad catastrophe and it is at this time that we must unite as Zimbabweans against those who seek to deny us a decent life in the harsh circumstances. The vending problem is a result of a failed economy and directly a failed state. Most companies have closed shop amid the much hyped and touted blank Zimasset which has but remained a pipe dream.
DARE notes with grave concern the tendency to window dress poverty in the name of organised vending. It is true the world over that vending is in itself a form of employment especially in third world failed states like Zimbabwe. DARE acknowledges the hard efforts of our mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers in the streets vending not because of their choice but economic disparities that exists in Zimbabwe. We salute these vendors who of late have been able to send children to school and put food on the table .In the same vein we commend their resilience and bravery of not giving in to hopelessness and desperation.
We want then to urge Harare City Council not allocate stalls in areas that are far from the catchment areas, near bus termini and mini bus ranks. The point being the vendors need access to clients and in such a scenario the municipality should copy the South African model in Tshwane where stalls are smart and clearly demarcated and vendors pay a fee towards usage of such stalls. Removing vendors to sites where they cannot access clients is mischievous and a mockery. Indeed we stand in solidarity with vendors and urge them to be resilient in the face of those who have amassed wealth albeit corruptly.
DARE applauds the army for saying no to abuse, to beat up, threaten and evict vendors in towns. Zimbabwe is not in a state of emergency and the purported use of the army through the controversial JOC is surely provocation to hungry, hopeless Zimbabweans. We definitely demand a formal state of emergency through parliament with clear operational parameters which do not infringe the bill of human rights and constitution. The army should remain in their barracks come Sunday and refuse to take illegal action against a battered citizenry.
On the other hand vendors should speak with one voice and not partisan because the issue at hand is about survival. We are astounded that Grace Mugabe has remained mum during these trying times as an instigator of wanton occupation of public spaces for vending in our cities. Her tacit involvement in the issue of vendors should be condemned as politicking with peoples stomachs. Indeed she should issue an apology to the nation or actively help in pursuing a win-win situation between vendors and concerned parties.
DARE remains seized with protecting the citizenry of this country who are trying by all means to eke a humiliating but dissent livelihood. We advocate for restoration of values that recognises that we are all our brothers’ keepers. Vendors are human beings and should be empowered and be given access to markets in a way that is organised and healthy for the nation.
DARE categorically ask government to address the economic challenges or fall on their sword by resigning en-mass. Zanu Pf has failed the nation and we cannot afford one more day under this humiliation. We need new elections and electoral reforms which will give confidence and trust to an incoming government. We call upon the international community to condemn the planned harassment of vendors as a reminder of Murambatsvina which left homes and families devastated.
Dare kwese kwese!!!!!
IDale yonke indawo!!!!
Inserted by the Information and Publicity Department, Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment (DARE)