Typhoid outbreak: Vendors resist ban

Source: Typhoid outbreak: Vendors resist ban – DailyNews Live January 7, 2017

Helen Kadirire

HARARE – Harare vendors are resisting the move by government to ban fruit
and vegetable hawking arguing it is insensitive to the struggling poor.

National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) chairperson Sten Zvorwadza said
government has failed to create jobs, forcing long-suffering citizens to
fend for their families through vending.

“We will mobilise people to resist such an evil resolution, from ministers
who if we dig deeper it will not be surprising that their own mothers send
them to school or to universities through money gotten from vending,” he

“We will not allow this ban to kill the livelihoods… of hardworking
citizens,” Zvorwadza said.

Following an outbreak of typhoid in the high density suburb of Mbare which
has so far claimed two lives, government set up a taskforce – comprising
the ministries of Health, Local Government, Environment and Small to
Medium enterprises – which banned the vending of cooked and uncooked

The outbreak, which has also seen 18 people seeking treatment, was caused
by poor water and sanitation facilities as well as burst sewers.

Health minister David Parirenyatwa said 76 percent of typhoid cases have
so far been reported from Harare.

Zvorwadza added “this is time not only as vendors, but as the people of
Zimbabwe we should take control of our lives and hold this irresponsible
government accountable to what happens inside the borders of Zimbabwe”.

“If we are silent, this (ban) will be effected countrywide. We need to
stand up and demand redress to the welfare of vendors and the people of
Zimbabwe at large,” he said.

Zvorwadza added that government should have consulted them first before
resolving to ban their livelihoods.

He said the only reason government had resorted to ban vending was because
they have never taken responsibility for anything wrong in the country.

The Navuz leader also said government has managed to destroy and make life
difficult for citizens by introducing “unthinkable” policies such as SI 64
of 2016.

He said government should look into the poor service delivery in local
authorities before blaming vendors for the disease.

“The government has contributed a lot to poor service delivery than what
the vendors have done to take charge of their lives. Surely if all the
millions of people who chose to be brave, leave their homes and come to
the city of Harare had chosen to wait for government to create jobs by now
we would have million cases of people who would have starved to death,”
Zvorwadza said.

Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Association member Samuel Mawere said
government should not punish vendors because the cause of typhoid is not

“Poor management of water and sewer infrastructure should be their main
target not people trying to eke out an honest living,” he said.