Tsvangirai condemns planned eviction of vendors

MDC-T president, Morgan Tsvangirai, today condemned the Zanu (PF) government’s threat to forcibly remove illegal vendors from town and city streets.


Ignatius Chombo, the local government minister, yesterday said his ministry would work in conjunction with the police and army to remove the vendors who have swamped urban streets due to unemployment.

The vendors have a week within which to leave their vending positions.

Addressing journalists at Harvest House, the MDC-T headquarters, Tsvangirai said the planned sting operation was unconstitutional.

“The utterances by Ignatius Chombo demanding that all local authorities should forcibly remove vendors from the streets are unconstitutional. Local authorities are urged to reject any unconstitutional directives issued by the Zanu (PF) regime.

“The MDC is extremely disturbed and concerned by the announcement that was made yesterday by Zanu PF’s Ignatious Chombo to use the Zimbabwe National Army to remove vendors from the streets of the cities, towns and growth points throughout Zimbabwe. The Zanu PF regime must not abuse the National Army to cover for its failures,” said Tsvangirai.

Harare mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni, has already called for negotiations between the vendors and local authorities instead of use of heavy handed tactics.

In terms of Section 276 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, a local authority has the right to govern, on its own initiative, the local affairs of the people within the area for which it has been established, and has all the powers necessary for it to do so.

“The Zanu (PF) regime’s modus operandi is reminiscent of previous operations like Murambatsvina that took place in May 2005 and the Gukurahundi genocide of the early to mid – 1980s.

“It is totally unfair for the corrupt and chaotic Zanu (PF) regime to unleash the whole might of the military on innocent citizens struggling to eke out a living in the face of a crumbling and collapsing economy that has been brought about by years of misrule and corruption by the same regime,” said Tsvangirai.

He added that government had created the problem of joblessness by failing to properly and efficiently run the economy and must not punish the vendors.

The Zimbabwe Informal Sector Organisation (ZISO) on Monday blamed the Zanu (PF) government for the mushrooming of street vending as it had failed to create the two million jobs it promised ahead of the 2013 general elections.

“The regime must take full responsibility for the suffering that the people are going through after it failed to fulfill its election promises of creating 2 million jobs,” said Tsvangirai.

He added that at least 55,000 workers had lost their jobs over the past three years after more than 610 companies closed shop countrywide.

Tsvangirai said his party would hold President Robert Mugabe and his regime to account for any casualties that might be suffered in the clean-up campaign.

“The MDC challenges the Zanu (PF) regime to come up with an alternative plan for the people’s survival rather than brutally curtailing their means of survival in this very difficult economic environment.

“It is now very evident that the corrupt Zanu (PF) regime has totally failed to meet the essential needs of the majority of the people of Zimbabwe who are living in abject poverty and destitution,” said the MDC-T leader.

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