Vendor’s group, Queen of Grace ZimAsset Trust, failed Tuesday to remove vendors from the central business district as it had promised earlier in the week, but managed to carry out a clean-up campaign at the Gulf Market area of Harare.
Small to Medium Enterprises Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni, later addressed the Zanu PF-linked group at the main post office.
The group’s director, Ephraim Chizola, told Studio 7 that Tuesday’s campaign was a success with thousands voluntarily joining the exercise.
“We mobilized 15,000 small to medium enterprises who participated successfully to the hosting of this event,” he said.
But National Vendors' Union Zimbabwe director, Samuel Wadzayi, accused the Queen of Grace ZimAsset Trust of coercing vendors to join the campaign and forcing them to buy membership cards in order for them to be allocated vending sites.
Wadzayi said the organization is far from championing vendors’ rights but instead is a front for well-known land barons.
He said the purported vendors were but Zanu PF youths who were ferried from Mbare.
“This was not a project by vendors, this was a project by politicians who are trying to take advantage of vendors,” said Wadzayi.
Early June The Sunday mail reported that it has since established that bogus informal groups abusing the First Lady, Dr. Grace Mugabe have sprouted “as a deliberate attempt to gain acceptance and exempt from scrutiny by authorities.”
But Chizola denied that. “We know that some of the western detractors will try by all means to pull a string or short against the first lady and we would like to urge the world to please stop it and, please stop taking the first lady into any unnecessary issues.”
Chizola said his organization has never talked about the first lady in its programs.