Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) held a Community Dialogue meeting in Bulawayo under the Accountability Lab CivActs programme.
VISET Programs Manager Tariro Munyereyi said the objective of the programme is to facilitate dialogue between communities and solution holders in order for them to be able to hold office bearers accountable, as well as ensuring communities make demands that are backed by knowledge on their constitutional rights and how to engage constructively in order to attain services.
Bakani Ncube of Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) gave a presentation on the updated by laws by Bulawayo City Council (BCC) as contained in SI 181. She told participants that the SI stipulates amongst other things the following:
Traders should follow the agreements of their licenses and if they are found to be selling anything else it will be confiscated. If traders are found overlapping from the bay line allocated to you in market stalls, they will be fined.
In the plenary session, participants gave suggestions to allow the vendors who would have lost their items to be given first preference to buying back their items back.
Mr. Prosper Masibi a consultant with VISET gave a presentation on socio economic rights that informal traders needed to be well versed on the Constitution so as to be capacitated as vendors.
There is power in numbers hence vendors should be members of associations of their trade. In particular key sections such as;
- Section 64: Right to pursue freedoms of employment
- Section 71: Right to property thus the police and council should not confiscate items as this goes against traders’ right.
- Section 66: Freedom of movement thus passports should not take too long to process as it hinders vendors’ business ventures.
- Section 62: Rights to access information, minutes of full council minutes should be made public, for instance.
- Section 50: Rights of the arrested and the detained person in particular the right of representation
- Section 58: Right to freedom of association.
- Section 59: Right to demonstrate and petition.
In conclusion, Masibi stressed that these rights as contained in the Constitution were essential for human beings to live dignified lives.