Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) wishes to condemn in the strongest terms the new Government of Zimbabwe’s plans to evict vendors operating in Harare’s Central Business commencing today Monday the 4th of December 2017. Such a move is irrational, inhuman and barbaric apart from the fact that it runs contrary to the constitutional national objective which obliges the state and all its agencies to promote private initiatives of self-reliance (Section 13) and that which obliges it remove the restrictions that prevent people from working or otherwise engaging in gainful economic activities (section 24). VISET also implores the City of Harare to take full responsibility for its failure to provide adequate designated sites for these traders. It would have been reasonable on the part of the Harare City Council to wait until the completion of the process of identification and construction of more vending site in the central business district.
It has always been VISET’s position that forceful eviction of informal traders will not solve the current vending morass, where such eviction does not correspond to the allocation of alternative spaces in the designated sites. If anything, it will only exacerbate it, as was witnessed in the CBDs in 2015 where in most cases the operations resulted in ugly and bloody scenes and even unnecessary loss of life as a defense of a livelihood entails doing everything within one’s powers. VISET implores the new Government of Zimbabwe and City of Harare to do an assessment in respect of the consequences on the livelihoods of people and their dependents the evictions will cause. VISET will engage the authorities with a view to finding a more human alternative to the intended evictions but in the event that such doesn’t yield any positive results, it will approach the courts.