STREET vendors drawn across the country, who have repeatedly cried foul over what they term brutal raids by municipal police and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) will have a platform to deliberate on their operating environment with the aim of striking a fair trading deal with authorities during the Bulawayo Agenda Ideas festival.
The seventh edition of the festival, set for October 28 to November 1, will run under the theme “Transformative Ideas For a Better Society”.
It is being held in partnership with a number of organisations including Women Institute for Leadership Development (WILD), Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) and the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations.
Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, Bulawayo Agenda executive director Mmeli Dube said the vendors conference would focus on their operations and their quest for survival in a shrinking economy.
“We know that there is a lot of unemployment and many people are now on the street selling various wares, but there have been a lot of clashes with the authorities,” he explained.
“This is a platform for vendors to discuss how they can conduct their work without clashes; that is following the legal framework and their quest to survive.”
Vendors from other cities have also expressed concern that the random raids by police and municipal police were unfair, considering that they could not find jobs.
A mobile legal clinic, hosted by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights will be set up during the festival and will provide free legal advice to members of the public.