HomeNewsMayor’s no-show riles vendors

Mayor’s no-show riles vendors

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THE absence of Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo at Friday’s Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Association (ZCIEA) conference in Bulawayo sparked outrage from members of the association, who accused him of deliberately avoiding hearing their concerns.

SILAS NKALA
STAFF REPORTER

The vendors’ are crying foul that they are experiencing serious problems with the municipality police who raid and confiscate their wares almost daily.

Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, ZCIEA Matabeleland president Edward Manning, who is a former Ward 1 councillor, said they had extended the invitation to the mayor in time early last week, but they were surprised that we did not turn up.

“We invited the mayor to be here, but he told us today that he is in Harare,” he said. “He did not bother telling us in time that he would not be here and he did not even send a representative.

“We do not take kindly to that. He should have told us before that he would not be here.

“He had promised to be here, but only to tell at last minute that he is not around. This is too bad.”

Manning said the vendors had a lot of questions for the local authority, but it appeared the council was avoiding meeting them.

“Vendors want to be free to sell their wares and this is supported by the new Constitution,” he said.

“It is suspicious that council sends its manpower to chase vendors and confiscate their wares, but it complains of manpower shortage when the need for council services arises.

“If nothing is done urgently vendors might take law into their hands because we cannot be arrested for wanting to earn an honest living by people who are responsible for the closure of companies that resulted in thousands of job losses.

“Those who led to the closure of companies must be held responsible for unemployment, not vendors.”

ZCIEA co-ordinator Thabani Nare said his organisation was concerned at the treatment of all vendors by authorities.

“We have given them forms so that they fill and we have engaged the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to assist all vendors in case of clashes with the police and council,” he said.

“The police and council confiscate vendors’ wares and at times make them pay fines. This is like double punishment for the poor vendors who are trying to earn a living in a country with no jobs and someone does such evil on them.”

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