HARARE – Vendors yesterday savaged Harare Municipal Police and Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, saying they were the root cause of the current harassment they are facing.
The angry vendors, who besieged Harare Town House, said Kasukuwere is the one who gave a directive to the city fathers to chase away vendors from the Central Business District (CBD).
The vendors, led by National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe board chairperson Sten Zvorwadza, said they are going to take Kasukuwere head-on if the harassment persists.
“Kasukuwere is the trouble causer. He is the one who gave the directive to council to chase us away from the CBD, but he must know that we need to feed our families and sent them to schools,” Zvoradzwa said in his address to the demonstrators.
In a direct attack to the Zanu PF political commissar, protesters were heard singing “Kasukuwere usaita funny, funny nemavendors unozorohwa (Kasukuwere don’t play jokes with vendors, you will be beaten up).”
Zvorwadza said local authorities and government should respect the country’s Constitution which raised critical issues of support for the informal economy and the informal sector.
“Today, we have made a declaration that if they leash violence on us; they are going to kill us all here at Town House. We want them to give us a date when they are going to stop the confiscation of our goods. Confiscation of our goods is illegal. We want them to stop it.
“…our Constitution in section 57 prohibits anyone to seize or confiscate anyone’s goods.”
Zvorwadza also said several discussions with council officials had failed to yield any meaningful result.
“Vendors have been abused for so long. We have tried to have dialogue for a long period but we failed to have any response from the city fathers.
“Trouble is we have had boardroom discussions and meetings but at the end we are yielding nothing and as vendors we are saying that enough is enough. We are going to up our game and continue fighting.”
The placard-waving protesters said council should work closely with the vendors to end rogue municipal police from harassing them.
“Enough is enough, Pasi nehuori (down with corruption), stop confiscating our goods,” some of the placards reads.
The demonstrators were later addressed by HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme who said they are going to address their problems.
“We heard your concerns, but you need to sell your wares on designated areas, you don’t need to sell your wares on pavements,” Chideme said.
“As council, we need to maintain the rule of law. If your wares are confiscated, you must go and recover them at municipality police headquarters.”