Clashes between the police and the vendors in the Harare Central Business District (CBD) have resulted in members of the Tajamuka coming back to the scenes with the organisation’s spokesperson, Prosper Mkwananzi defending the informal sector in a press conference in Harare today.
Tajamuka members have been arrested on allegations of causing violence the 2016 violence that resulted in the closing of the business in the Harare CBD.
“We call on this government to immediately cease the use of force against civilians and enter into negotiations with the vendors and all the other stakeholders to find an amicable and lasting solution to the vending crisis in Zimbabwe,” Mkwananzi said.
Police have been clashing with vendors in the streets as the law enforcement agents drive the informal out of the CBD as the government works on ending the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe.
Mkwananzi said the government should provide alternatives for vending during the press conference.
“We insist that the government cannot remove vendors from the streets without providing alternative vending facilities or even employment,” Mkwananzi said.
“We make this statement fully cognisant of the inconveniences vendors may have on other members of the public who may want to enjoy a clean city and free movement in the city.”
“We are also aware of the conflicting and competing interests of the vendors and the formal traders who pay all their overhead costs and feel shortchanged,” Mkwananzi went on.
Zimbabwean authorities have accused vending for causing the cholera outbreak that left, over 20 people dead in the country.
Retailers have also complained that vendors, who do not pay taxes, are reducing customers as the informal take over pavement to sell products also found in supermarkets.