Vendors in Zimbabwe are resisting plans by government to evict them from streets in urban areas within seven days saying such a move is ill-timed.
Some street vendors like Fadzai Muzondo told Studio 7 that they are not happy with the government’s plan to displace them from their vending sites in central business districts of most cities and towns.
Muzondo said she does not feel threatened by Brigadier General Ancelem Senyatwe’s warning allegedly made in a meeting with their representatives that the national army would descend on them if they don’t leave within the next few days as spelt out by Local Government Minister Ignatious Chombo.
Another vendor, Kamurai Moyo, said many families will be affected if they are evicted from vending sites as this business is their only source of income.
Moyo said many families are now relying on vending for their upkeep because there are no openings in the formal job market.
Moyo urged the government to revitalize the country’s ailing economy first before thinking of displacing vendors.
Moyo’s views were echoed by former prime minister and founding leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai.
And Harare mayor Benard Manyenyeni said he will engage Chombo after the majority of vendors raised concern that the sites where they are supposed to be relocated are too small to accommodate about 100,000 vendors.
The government argues that it wants Harare and other cities and towns to remain clean as keeping vendors at designated vending points is one of its strategies.
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party promised to create more than 2.2 millon jobs in the run up to the 2013 general election. Indications are that a lot of jobs have been lost following the re-election of Mr. Mugabe and his party in the 2013 polls.