ZISO fears Murambatsvina 2

The Zimbabwe Informal Sector Organisation (ZISO) has expressed concern at the call by MPs for the removal of vendors and other informal traders from the streets. “The government has a duty to put appropriate measures in place to ensure that the informal traders have alternative and viable means of earning a living.

ZISO is concerned that the government will repeat its callous actions of 2005`s Operation Murambatsvina where it ruthlessly demolished people`s homes, causing a massive humanitarian crisis,” says a statement by the organisation.

ZISO says government should not proceed to remove the vendors without a proper plan for alternative sources of livelihoods. “It must be remembered that it is the government`s failure to provide employment and its misguided indigenisation drive that has forced people onto the streets. Recently, Dr. Grace Mugabe urged the police to allow vendors to sell their wares in the streets. This policy ambivalence continues to cause uncertainty and confusion among the informal traders,” it says.

ZISO also urged the ministry of finance to reconsider its proposed tax regime for the informal traders, and embark on extensive stakeholder consultations to come up with an effective and pro-poor tax mechanism. “In our view, the presumptive tax of USD300 quarterly is way beyond the reach of the informal sector players who seldom make enough to cover their most basic needs,” it said.

The group has called for an all stakeholders conference for the informal sector to address the multifaceted issues that have surfaced since the emergence of a robust informal economy owing to the government`s economic mismanagement, exponential levels of unemployment and corruption, liquidity crunch and a failing economy.

Post published in: Human Rights

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