Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) condemns in the strongest of terms the move by the City of Harare to forcefully remove Street Vendors operating in the Central Business District (CBD). This latest clampdown comes at a time when VISET has been intensifying efforts to engage with the City fathers with the aim of finding a lasting solution to the issue of the shortage of operating spaces in Harare. Yesterday, Saturday the 28th of December 2019, VISET members operating in Harare’s CBD reported various forms of harassment at the hands of both Municipal and Zimbabwe Republic Police and we call upon the authorities to stop this attack on livelihoods.
We further call upon the City Fathers to respect the by-laws by ensuring that they build sufficient operating spaces that respond to the increase in the number of Informal Traders. Street Vendors are not criminals but ordinary people seeking livelihoods and must be allowed to fend for their families especially when the government has failed to provide jobs in the economy. As an organisation, we remain committed to work with all Municipalities throughout the country in crafting lasting solutions to the challenges bedeviling the informal sector in the country.
We also note that there is an undeclared curfew which is infringing on the right to movement and liberty of our members. This has to be stopped. We further call for the unconditional release of our members who were arrested in Harare’s CBD and also that their goods and merchandise arbitrarily confiscated be returned without any preconditions.
Source: Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET)