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Vendors petition government

The National Vendors Union Zimbabwe (NAVUZ) yesterday petitioned government urging them to stop the impending evictions of vendors from the streets.

The petition followed a directive by the Ministry of Local Government which called on all vendors to move to designated spaces by tomorrow.

The Vendors Union however vowed that they won’t move to the designated places unless government creates a conducive trading environment for them.

The vendors were demanding the following conditions to be met:

  1. All vendors have been allocated vending spaces
  2. An assessment has been conducted and a report has been published that such relocation would not result in an unnecessary loss of income for vendors and assurances have been given that their access to markets will not be jeopardized by such relocation.
  3. The designate vending sites must charge affordable rates to all vendors and they must have all the necessary infrastructure such as sanitation facilities.
  4. The state displays the same sense of urgency in creating new jobs and protecting incomes and livelihoods as they are displaying in evicting vendors from their current vending sites. These two must be a trade-off otherwise the impending evictions will be tantamount to killing flies to stop the rot.
  5. Politicisation and militarisation of vending is stopped.
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Speaking during the handover of the petition to Parliament, Justice Manai, who is the National Board Secretary of NAVUZ said evicting vendors will put their livelihoods on a standstill.

“Chasing us mean that our livelihoods would be on a standstill and yet we survive from hand to mouth

“If I’m clogged from selling my wares for just 24 hours my family will have to starve,” he said.

He added that: “government has to create employment for the masses of the people who have been turned to vendors.”

The petition was handed over to the acting Clerk of Parliament, Nomasondo Tsunga by Lucy Makundi, a vendor living with disability.

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Journalist based in Harare

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