Spare a thought for informal sector


EDITOR — Demolition of structures that were built without the requisite council approvals has exacerbated the plight of those who operate in the informal sector.

Running battles between vendors and municipal police have been reported in St Mary’s in Chitungwiza as vendors continue to sell their wares in places that are not designated for that purpose.

In pursuit of sustained accountability, and transparency regarding responses to Covid-19 by both State and Non-State Actors, Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) presents a summary of the reports that it received recently from its Long Term Observers (LTO)s.

In Mbire reports are that more people who used to work in the informal sector have joined the illegal gold panning activities, which for them is an easy way of earning a living while they wait for food hampers that will be distributed to the most vulnerable citizens in the country, especially the elderly and persons living with disabilities.

The department of social welfare was reported to have distributed food to elderly and other vulnerable groups in Chipinge central at Garahwa, Chinyamukwakwa, Marega primary schools.

While in Chivi Central, food distribution was done by the department at Chivi Rural District Hospital and Nyamakwa business centre. World Vision was reported to have distributed food in Mbire’s wards 8, 9, 12, and 13. World vision also conducted civic awareness in Covid-19 prevention strategies in the same wards.

In light of the difficulties highlighted above, Zesn received a troubling report that in Chegutu West, it is alleged that, Zanu PF party distributed government youth funds to some of its youthful party members.
The money was transferred using mobile money platforms to enable the youths to start income generating projects.

In response to the dire need for food aid by a significant number of both rural and urban citizens, government, through the department of social welfare is distributing food to those in need.

Government should provide urgent assistance to the informal sector to enable the sector to reopen their businesses in a manner that safeguards the health of their customers and employees of this sector.

Unregistered public transporters are reported to be increasing with some operating during the early hours of the day and in the evening to evade police who usually mount roadblocks along major highways.

This week such reports came from the Mhondoro-Ngezi and Goromonzi West LTOs.
Reports of violation of this and other health guidelines continue to be received from LTOs resident in the country’s 10 provinces especially in instances where people are gathered at funeral wakes, queues at retail outlets selling basic commodities that may be scarce, and boreholes in places where portable water is not readily available.

In Mbizo, Kwekwe there was a report of a funeral wake where over 200 mourners took audio files. As of June 17, 2020, which was the third day after the video skit was uploaded, over
37 000 people had viewed it.

In Luveve commuters congregating at undesignated pick-up points were also posing a health hazard to other members of the public.

The public transport buses provided by the government are not adequate hence the numbers of commuters is exceeding the stipulated 50 people limit set by the government during peak traveling hours.
In addition Non-Governmental Organisations, churches and other philanthropists were reported to be congregated.

Very few of the mourners wore masks or observed social distancing at the funeral. In Kwekwe Central there were over 100 people in a queue where subsidised mealie-meal was sold.



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