A social justice group, Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) has issued a statement on the demolition of vending stalls and tuck shops in Harare and Chitungwiza.
The City of Harare, with the help from members of the security forces, is demolishing structures and buildings that it calls illegal in the metropolitan province.
“The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) is concerned by the indiscriminate and inhuman demolitions of vending stalls and tuck shops in Harare and Chitungwiza,” reads the statement.
“Given that the informal sector is the main source of employment for the majority of Zimbabweans, the actions by the government are causing untold human suffering at a time when citizens are grappling with the continually deteriorating economic and social conditions.”
The social and economic justice group recommends that the government must stop demolishing informal traders’ properties forthwith and allow a smooth transition to ‘smart cities and towns.’
“The government must compensate informal traders for their assets and wares lost and destroyed during demolitions,” ZIMCODD recommends.
“In case of evictions, notice of 90 days minimum should be served to the concerned informal traders.”
“Government should come up with an inclusive legal framework towards formalizing informal trading in support of small scale income generating projects to achieve its Agenda 2030.”
The City of Harare Corporate Communications manager, Michael Chideme, in response, however, said if the vendors make applications to the council for business land, they will be allocated.
“We have always given these people notices to vacate and sometimes they thought we were not serious with what we were saying but now the time has come for them to move away from the pathways, from the walkways from the driveways and go to designated sites,” Chideme said.