Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) on Monday the 2nd of October 2017, participated at the “2nd Country Situational Analysis” indaba that was organized by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) in partnership with the Lutheran Development Service (LDS). The indaba was designed to create a platform for dialogue and peaceful engagement among Zimbabweans as the country move towards the crucial 2018 harmonized elections. Other organizations that attended the workshop included the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), People with Disabilities Network and other community based organizations.

In her opening remarks Ms S Hove from the Lutheran Development Service urged all the invited guests and participants to embrace the indaba as a genuine initiative by the church to kick start an inclusive engagement and dialoging process as a panacea to the problems bedeviling the country. Further, she urged the participants to be as truthful as possible in their contributions to ensure that the organizers get a true reflection of the status quo and in the process be able to design further community engagements platforms that speak to the realities on the ground, and more critically be able to advise the authorities and solution holders from an informed point of view.

Speaking at the same meeting, VISET Executive Director, Mr. Samuel Wadzai, congratulated the ZCC and its partners for organizing the meeting and urged the organizers to take the dialogue sessions to street vendors and be able appreciate the plight of this disadvantaged but vital cog to the economy of Zimbabwe. He bemoaned the lack of a national acceptance and governmental support for street vendors despite the fact that vending has become the biggest employer in the country in the face of an estimated 90% unemployment rate. He called upon the government and all its agencies to expertise the adoption of an enabling legislative framework for street vending. As the country move towards the 2018 harmonized elections, Wadzai urged civic society organizations that deal with elections to integrate street vendors into their programming so as to harness the voice of the new frontiers of unionism in the country.

Source: Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET)