Vendors must go, say MPs

via Vendors must go, say MPs | The Herald May 23, 2015 by Lloyd Gumbo

Members of Parliament have demanded the immediate removal of illegal vendors who have flooded Harare’s streets, saying they are a menace and threaten properly-registered retail shops.

Speaking during a question without notice session in the Senate on Thursday, the MPs bemoaned that the majority of the goods sold by the vendors were imports whose duty was not paid.

The vendors are selling their goods right in front of registered shops, taking away business from the Government’s sources of income which is raised through taxes and import duty.

Mashonaland Central Senator Cde Monica Mavhunga asked what mechanisms Government was putting in place to protect formal businesses that were losing business because of street vendors.

“I want to find out what measures they have in place to protect people in permanent trading from the onslaught of vendors who are now in the streets?” she said.

“Large scale operators are paying rates and rents and these small scale operators are operating outside the premises without paying any rentals.”

Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Chiratidzo Mabuwa said there was need for street vendors to be removed.

“If they are operating without licences, they are doing it illegally,” she said. “The Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development encourages those who are operating illegally to put their documents in order and they should be given designated points.

“They should leave the verandahs where they are competing with the large scale operators with licences.”

Cde Mabuwa said informal traders who operated at designated places were welcome as vending enhanced their livelihood status.

But this prompted Manicaland Senator Cde Shadreck Chipanga to intervene, arguing that First Street in Harare had lost luster and shape because of street vendors.

“I am not sure whether the minister has been there of late,” he said. “You cannot walk freely and these are not informal traders, these are street vendors.

“Everybody is selling everything there in front of shops which are well established and are supposed to contribute to the fiscus.”

In her response, Deputy Minister Mabuwa said: “Street vending can be legal or illegal, so I want to shy away from commenting on illegal business operations.

“If they are illegal, they should be brought to book. As he has rightfully mentioned, I might not have walked in that particular street that he is referring to, but in general, I am aware that one runs the risk of stepping on someone’s wares or tomatoes as they try to manoeuvre into the next shop.

“I think it is the duty of the local authorities to know who is illegally doing that and where their shops or stores are supposed to be located. Those people who are doing it illegally should be the responsibility of the local authorities.”

The influx of street vendors into Harare’s city centre has resulted in congestion on the roads and pavements.

The vendors sell different wares at lower prices compared to those obtaining in retail shops because they do not have any obligations like paying tax and rentals.

Retailers have since pleaded with Government to protect them from unfair competition posed by the street vendors and deal with serious challenges they pose for formal business.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Mr Denford Mutashu told a media briefing in Harare on Thursday that their members wanted authorities to protect them from imported sub-standard products that have flooded the market.

Mr Mutashu said they were not asking Government to ban vending, the source of livelihood for multitudes of families finding sustenance from the trade in a largely informalised economy, but to come up with proper vending sites.

He said vendors selling from undesignated sites faced a number of problems including lack of proper storage, exposure to sun, rain and lack of running water and ablution facilities.


  • comment-avatar

    Who caused this situation to happen Zanu. You puposly turned the country into of tuck shops and vendors now you cry foul. Create the 2000000 jobs you promised and then the vendors will be a thing of the past.

  • comment-avatar
    Kariba 7 years ago

    Could it be that the government has fouled up somewhere if people are resorting to desperate measures like this ?

  • comment-avatar
    Common Sense 7 years ago

    How pathetic Zimbabweans are….Laugh as long as you like…you just don’t get how dangerous and vicious the situation is. GROW UP and STOP laughing!

  • comment-avatar
    Common Sense 7 years ago

    A disgrace nation of slaves and illegal crooks.

  • comment-avatar
    Common Sense 7 years ago

    Due to the huge unemployment and the total financial disaster Harare’s streets are full of beggars who call them selves street vendors. This is a total disgrace and these guys behave like savages. he same applies for the ridiculous omni bus operators. STONE AGE in Harare. Congratulations to the government.

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    nkosinathi mkwanazi 7 years ago

    Comrades .genocide, xenophobic starts like this. Denigrating people then squash them like cokroaches,lice.
    What is a vendor? Why vendors? What is vending solving?
    A vendor is a Zimbabwe citizen too. A vendor is a voter who voted those MPs and the President bt wait(this illegal does not need to be voted into power coz it votes itself into power) because public administration is about outcomes not outputs . For political impedance its not fit to remove informal traders on the street if political outcome really mattered. But since no Citizen is important to vote thi mafia cabal into office. Whatever happens its a non event. Any1 can drive the informal traders away could be the police , army, municipal police . The death of 1 Zimbabwean Citizen its like the death of a cockroach remember those who died after 1980, 2008 no one cares . U can disappear like Itayi no one cares.

    Why vendors?
    Why not go to route cause of vending.
    The economy like the government is now informal. So why address something informal by trying to be formal.
    All you there from Cde Mugabe to the least civil servant u a informal. The government is also a vendor its illegal.

    Charity begin at home.

    Its not by choice to be vending.
    Cde Chombo put informal traders to viable points not just cleaning up the city for who. It reminds me of a saying which says if my children are not here my house is clean and my wallet is full but my heart is empty.

    Have we become an embarrassment to u Cde Chombo. The number of vendors reflect the state of the Economy.
    Its a writing on the Wall. Dont bit a talking donkey Cde but shamisikayi kuti cei donkey ririkutaura. U talk with a donkey? Are u made.

    Sort out the Economy and vendors will disappear. U remember if a granny has a lot of vazukuru an its in June and there they are pushing an shoving each other around the fire the granny will put more firewood.

    Use the zeal, money, resources and effort that u have to for ZimAsset and vendors will disappear.

    U want to put animals in the cities like u dd in Mazoe?