Vendors Vow to stay on the streets until grievances are addressed

By Patricia Mashiri

Elias Mudzuri, the MDC-T acting President addressed vendors who vowed to stay on the streets until the government creates employment for them.

Mudzuri said the present government should not chase people away from the streets until it provides decent jobs to the people.

“We want modern industries which will accommodate everyone regardless of the educational level one has. Our policy as a party is that we don’t remove vendors on the streets until the economy stabilises.

“We realised there was need to go back to the grassroots to the most affected people who happen to be the vendors in this case. Let’s work together with the council and bombard them with our issues. Councillors should make frequent meetings with the people to address their issues,” Mudzuri said.

Mudzuri added that mutual co-existence is the only way forward. He also addressed the Cholera issue which has been reported in Chegutu.

“Cholera has been reported in Chegutu. We need to engage with our council so that they provide clean water. Toilets from the vending places should always be open and clean. This will help in the prevention of the disease.

“We understand that there is violence caused by both the military and the police. Items taken by the council should be retrieved and the fine paid should be reduced. The vendors are selling few goods so that they survive but they are forced to pay $20 when their goods are taken away from them. We want to see change with immediate effect,” Mudzuri said.

Girisoti Mandere, the Councillor for Kuwadzana who was representing the Harare Mayor said it was not by choice that the vendors were on the streets.

“It is not by choice that vendors are seen on the streets. As councillors we are here to represent your concerns because we were chosen by the people. It is a survival plan since the streets are the only place which can bring them food on the table. Vendors should keep on fighting until their voices are heard by the responsible authorities,” Mandere said.

A vendor who was only identified as Linnet, a Chairperson of the vendors in Julius Nyerere Street said most of their members were nursing injuries they got from the police brutality.

“Most of us have injuries from the council police brutality. We are always running away from the police instead of selling so that our children go to school. Most of us are heads of families. Our kids survive from the money we get from selling.

“The water we are getting from council is not safe to drink. We pay the council bills from the money we sell goods on the streets but the services we are getting are poor. The little money we earn cannot pay hospital bills after the use of contaminated water from the taps,” Linnet said.