Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) is aggressively attacking the Harare City Council (HCC) for the ubiquitous vending that is taking place in the Central Business District (CBD) of Zimbabwe’s capital.
The retailers’ organisation says that something decisively has to be done to stop the crisis from worsening any further, as vendors unceasingly occupy the CBD.
CZR also says the retail sector, that pays taxes and also rentals to the HCC, is under siege with the vendors occupying pavements.
“One just wonders if the so-called city fathers are paying any attention to this deplorable situation and if so what they are planning to do about it,” wrote CZR on its website.
Apprehensively, CZR says that the retail sector, that pays taxes and also rentals to the HCC, is under siege with the vendors occupying pavements.
“The CZR notes with grave concern the unchallenged takeover of Harare’s Central Business District by informal vendors operating as unregistered retailers,” the retailors organisation says.
“Expired cosmetics and other basic commodities of dubious origin are stacked along pavements, restricting pedestrian movement and rendering it virtually impossible for shoppers to enjoy window shopping – a pastime everyone took for granted not so long ago.”
“Needless to say this negatively impacts on registered and licensed retailers whose shop licenses entitle them to display their wares for window-shoppers. Thus the retail sector is under siege,” CZR continues.
Besides offering competition to the licensed retail shops, CZR also reports of the presence of unhealthy practices on Harare’s CBD.
“Food items like fruits and vegetables are being sold under unhealthy conditions in some cases right next to uncollected rubbish,” the retailors organisation says.
“The dangers to public health posed by food sold in the open streets can never be overstated.”
Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa is on record labelling vendors for the cholera outbreak that recently took place in Harare.
Established companies have always clashed with the informal sector with clothing retailers also stating that the importation of second-hand clothes into Zimbabwe is marginalising retail.