via Only Pro-Grace vendors being registered – NewZimbabwe 29/06/2015
HARARE: The National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (NAVUZ) says its members are being denied access to register as traders in the new set up which the council says is meant to bring order in central Harare.
Government, through the Harare City Council, gave last Friday 26 June as the deadline for all vendors operating in “illegal” spaces to vacate.
Since then, the council has been registering vendors with the aim of establishing their actual number and needs for proper planning.
Vendors have, however, vowed to stay put until government allocates “enough” vending spaces at “convenient” sites.
NAVUZ national director Samuel Wadzai told NewZimbabwe.com Monday that his members were being denied registration, a process which he said is controlled by Zanu PF activists.
“The information that NAVUZ has received thus far in respect of the on-going registration process is that only members belonging to space baron led organisations such as Grassroots Empowerment, Queen of Grace, 100 Percent Empowerment members are allowed to register and several of our members have been barred from registering,” Wadzai said.
“The registration process must not only ensure that all the vendors obtain access to these designated vending sites, but also that relocation to these designated vending sites must not result in a loss of income for vendors by way of jeopardizing their access to profitable markets”.
Wadzai urged Harare city council to de-politicize the registration process.
“Our position has always been clear that vendors must not be removed from their current vending sites until the on-going registration process is complete.
“This registration process must be done in an inclusive, fair, transparent and non-partisan manner or else NAVUZ will not endorse its credibility and advise its members accordingly”.
Harare City Council spokesperson Michael Chideme on Monday told the state media that they have engaged the services of the Zimbabwe Republic Police to evict vendors who have defied the June 26 deadline.
The police have however not started chasing away vendors who are still selling their wares on street pavements.
Commenting on the engagement of the police by the Harare City council to drive away vendors, Wadzai said they will not be moved by these threats.
“We would like to advise the Harare City Council that such a move will not only be a reckless one but a clear demonstration of insensitivity to the plight of vendors who are trying to earn decent livelihoods in these harsh economic circumstances.
“NAVUZ urges the municipality to reconsider this decision in light of proposals that we have submitted to them on numerous occasions together with a petition that we submitted to the Parliament of Zimbabwe on the 24th of June 2015”.