The Movement for Democratic Change led by Nelson Chamisa has attacked President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government for “brutalizing vendors” saying attempts to remove from the streets is “barbaric, contemptuous and disrespectful.”
In a statement, the party said removing vendors from the streets in an effort to prevent the spread of a devastating cholera outbreak that has so far claimed 32 lives “is not the solution to the problems bedeviling the city (Harare) and the nation at large.”
The MDC claimed that the government using cholera as an excuse to victimize people in an attempt to achieve ill-conceived goals.
“The MDC is against the idea of blaming the victims for every calamity that befalls the motherland. To make matters worse the apparatus deployed to enforce the Zanu PF decision are confiscating clothes and electronic gadgets from vendors, merchandise that cannot in any scientific way transmit cholera. These are clear acts of theft.”
The party said the cholera epidemic stems from some degraded water and sanitation systems in Harare, which need to be revamped.
The MDC said this has been worsened by the lack of funds to finance capital projects like water and sanitation.
Apart from that, the MDC which runs most urban councils like Harare, the party said government and entities like Zanu PF owed the local authority millions of dollars in unpaid water and other service charges.
“… Government-related individuals including the Zanu PF provincial offices owe the City of Harare more than 11 million dollars in unpaid rates.”
The party recommended that the government should immediately cease the removal of vendors from the streets, adopt an inclusive and coordinated stakeholders approach in combating the spread of cholera and engage vendors to ensure that they practice hygienic methods of conducting their business, among many other issues.
There was no immediate government reaction on allegations being levelled by the MDC.