VP Mphoko slams vendors

via VP Mphoko slams vendors – DailyNews Live 27 January 2015 by Jeffrey Muvundusi

BULAWAYO – Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko set himself on a collision course with vendors after he said he did not understand why able-bodied people should engage in subsistence trading.

While addressing Zanu PF supporters at provincial party headquarters at Davies Hall on Sunday during his maiden “Meet the People” tour in Bulawayo, Mphoko went against the concept of self-help vending when he decried the practice which has become a last resort for the growing number of jobless people in towns and cities to eke out a living.

“I have got my own views regarding vending where you find an able-bodied man seated selling tomatoes. There are better things to do for someone who is fit except for those who are indisposed and physically-challenged,” the vice president said.

He was responding to a question by a woman only identified as Ma Sibanda who wanted to know of what help was the VP to the vendors in the city who have had several running battles with municipal police officers and law enforcers.

“You should wake up and see what you can do for a living. We cannot tolerate a man who is fit, sitting down and selling tomatoes. No, let’s do something better,” he said without suggesting an alternative. His utterances come at a time  when Zimbabwe has been virtually turned into an informal state as the once thriving industries have been turned into shells due to decades of political and economic mismanagement.

Currently, the country’s unemployment rate is estimated to be hovering above 90 percent. An estimated $400 million is needed if efforts to ensure a complete recovery of Bulawayo, once the hub of industry in Zimbabwe, are to achieve meaningful results.

Last year, during her “Meet the People” tour, First Lady Grace Mugabe became a darling of many after she came out guns blazing against law enforcers whom she ordered to stop harassing vendors. However, speaking on the revival of the second largest city, Mphoko said Bulawayo would rise again.

He said the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) should be booted out of the city if proper roads management has to be achieved.

“As for Zinara, it should be there but it should go outside the city and leave Bulawayo alone,” Mphoko said.

“There used to be a Road Department which we grew up knowing. We now pay for vehicle licences at Zinara which is a national institute. Why not let Bulawayo maintain its own roads. We used to pay for vehicle licences at Revenue Hall and that money was used to maintain local roads.”

This comes after the Bulawayo City Council has challenged Zinara over its failure to allocate funds to the former for road maintenance.

Mphoko, who described Bulawayo as a stand-alone city, said it was time everything that belonged to the city should be returned.

This, he said included the Bulawayo Power Station which was compulsorily handed over to Zesa.

“Bulawayo must be Bulawayo again. The electricity generated at power stations here belongs to Bulawayo, therefore it should revert to its original owners as should electricity generated from power stations in Harare and that is the kind of efficiency we know,” Mphoko added.


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    I have to say that what he said makes a lot of sense. HOWEVER who is responsible for reducing these people to vendors? Zanu pf was instrumental in destroying the manufacturing and industrial structures in Bulawayo thus causing company closures which have resulted in mass job losses and poverty. Another thing he has totally gone the opposite direction to what STOP IT WEEVIL Grace has told vendors in Harare.That is what we have seen in Zanu. No cohesion. In other words they differ in particles of the same substance only to retract if Mugabe intervenes.

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    Nintalan 7 years ago

    This Mphoko is disingenuous saying the supply of electricity is a local issue. The leaders of properly managed countries accept responsibility for the supply of essential services to all of their citizens, not just the audience they are addressing at the time. It’s a particularly weak effort by Mphoko, and coupled with his pointless comment on vendors suggests he is just another waste of space.

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    Vapambepfuma 7 years ago

    The man lives in an imaginary world or simply a big hypocrite. How does he blast people for vending when there is no functioning economy and industries collapsed? The high handedness of Zanu. Even the Zanu run companies and parastatals have collapsed due to incompetence by Zanu administration. Today all one sees are ghost industries, yet a senior party and government man has the guts to shamelessly insult people who are struggling to make ends meet.
    Ya inga zvakaoma vanhuwe. Those who could not be reduced to vendors are being used as cheap labour in neighbouring states, where graduates are working as security guards, domestics, waiters etc.
    Mr VP revive the economy and industry and see how many vending stalls will disappear. Also stop your councils from collecting money from vendors but come up with innovative ways to have revenue. Also stop Zimra from collecting tax and duties from these vendors..

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    Mixed Race 7 years ago

    @Nintalan-you are missing the point on essential power supply.The VP is correct because these stand alone power generating stations were built mainly as emergency backup supply in case the national grid is not capable of supplying the cities.This is like you having your own backup standby mobile generator to use when ZESA is load shedding your area.
    I also support him on these vendors who have contributed to our cities poor health standards.You do not need high brains to carryout vending,therefore no real projects can be developed by this type of goods exchanges and quick profiteering.
    The government should stop this principle of over centralizing all activities within the country.Bulawayo was only allocated about #75 000 whilst Harare was allocated $4 million for roads repairs.Where is justice here? The VP is right to tell the authorities to leave Bulawayo alone to improve itself with its limited resources from the rate payers.We daily cry for devolution of power so that we can gladly manage our affairs without central government interference.Give us this chance,then you can see what we can do to improve Bulawayo.@Doctor Do Little-you have valid points as usual,however its good if these officials oppose each other in public,proving that we have some who are beginning to see sense from these public debates.If you read another article in this website you will notice that our Matabeleland chiefs are now standing firm against these evictions without proper planning.THIS IS GOOD.

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    “You should wake up and see what you can do for a living. We cannot tolerate a man who is fit, sitting down and selling tomatoes. No, let’s do something better,” VP Mphoko said without suggesting an alternative.

    Leadership @ its best heee? A whole VP just insulting poor people who are working very hard to honestly put food on their tables in a country that has been ravage by his own party’s misrule. It reminds me of former VP, one Joseph Msika, mercilessly fuming that some poor people who had been rendered homeless by zanu pf government’s destruction of their homes where they had lived for decades: “they must go back wherever they came from”, then VP shouted shamelessly and heartlessly.

    Is this simply not a repeat of the same kind of callousness in a slightly different version?

    Surely, what criteria does Mugabe use in choosing his key lieutenants? It seems callousness is one of those traits revered by Mugabe in making his choices.