It is unfortunate that the Gweru City Council (GCC) has refused to take heed to calls by the Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) and other like-minded organizations to stop its plans to evict vendors and informal traders from the Central Business District (CBD) and has already started the process of eviction as of the 28TH of September 2017. What is even more worrying is that the process of eviction is chaotic, violent and does not take into consideration human dignity. In a series of protracted engagement efforts with the Gweru City Council, VISET has repeatedly called the latter to suspend the evictions pending due process which involves identification of profitable and convenient vending sites.

Gweru CBD is a hub of approximately 4000 vendors and such an eviction will have a disproportionate negative impact on the livelihoods of such a large number of vendors and their dependants. VISET has made it clear to the GCC that there is need to strike a balance between their mandate to maintain public health and the need of vendors to earn livelihoods. VISET will continue to mobilize its Socio-Economic Champions (SOCHAMPS) in Gweru so that they resist the grisly attack on livelihoods by the City fathers. In the same spirit, the organization has successfully deployed its Informal Sector Corruption Tracking Teams so that they detect, document, report and resist any form of corruption during this period.

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