Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer, Chris Mugaga said that the growing informal sector, which seems to be competing with the formal is not needed in the country.
Mugaga said the informal sector was involved in the illegal business which includes the use of taxis also known as Mushikashikas which are loaded exceeding their carrying capacity endangering people’s lives.
“We have those vendors not because it’s employment but unemployment.We don’t need those vendors,” said Mugaga.
Vendors, of which the majority do not pay taxes, have become a possible threat to the formal sector with the Edgars manager complaining that businesses that pay tax are being marginalized and pushed aside by the businesses that do not pay tax after a competition with informal sector’s second-hand clothes trade.
Informal sector activities have not only attracted clashes with business chambers but also with the city authorities and police.
Local authorities including the Harare City Council has in the past been involved in a cat and dogs chase action to drive the vendors out of the Central Business District (CBD).
Police are always in a ‘Vin Diesel’ action-packed chase with commuter omnibus operators also known as combis and the mushikashikas, endangering passengers and passersby in the process that takes place in the busy CBDs.
Zimbabwe’s unemployment is arguably over 80 percent, with companies closing down and sending more people into the informal.
However, the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Sithembiso Nyoni defended the vendors saying that local authorities do not realize that these vendors are part of the SMEs being co-ordinated by her ministry.
Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, Walter Mzembi said vendors needed decent places for their businesses and suggested the informal use empty buildings.
“We have to educate our local authorities the importance of SMEs… ‘ikozvino hatina ma company anovapa mari’(We no longer have large companies that used to be their sources of revenue),” said the SMEs Minister Evelyn Ndlovu.
The government has always defended the informal sector saying that its part of employment.
ZNCC is a membership-based business association. The Chamber is established for the purpose of in developing, promoting, and lobbying for its members and the local business community.