Vendors suffer as power struggle continues

via Vendors suffer as power struggle continues 8 January 2015

Several vendors from the high density suburb of Mbare have had their market stalls confiscated by Zanu (PF) youths who accused them of supporting former Vice President Joice Mujuru.

Mujuru was ousted last month, accused of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe. Since then there has been a purge of her known and perceived allies.

The vendors were blamed for working in cahoots with ousted Chairman Amos Midzi and other party members such as former deputy Minister of Lands, Tendai Savanhu, who was fired by Mugabe in December together with six other ministers.

“Following the dismissal of Mujuru, a group of youths came and addressed us saying that those who sided with her would be fished out. Now they have launched a campaign under which they are vetting people and those suspected to have been loyal to Mujuru allies like Midzi and Savanhu are being kicked out,” said a source on condition of anonymity.

The vendors said they were innocent victims of factional wars within Zanu (PF). “When these factional wars started, some of us were not even aware there was something like that going on. It is unfair that we are being labelled as Mujuru loyalists yet we thought we were doing the party a favour by attending all events,” said one vendor.

“I think it’s just a case of some individuals taking advantage of the purge to snatch more market stalls, which they will sub-let and make money. Some people are being blamed for snubbing other party events and attending those that were addressed by Mujuru loyalists – but the truth is that vendors are forced to close their stalls and attend whenever Zanu (PF) is holding a meeting,” said the vendor.

Efforts to get comment from the party’s youth chairperson for Harare province, Godwin Gomwe, were fruitless.