Home » General » Chombo’s Demands in Respect to Informal Sector Traders Ridiculous [press release]

The MDC is deeply concerned with the demand made by the Ignatius Chombo that councils should curb the activities of informal traders at a time the Zanu PF regime has failed to provide jobs for the people.

Chombo was speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Urban Councils Association in Bulawayo last week, were he urged Councils to take steps to curb the activities of informal traders operating in and around the urban areas.

These demands come immediately after the Vice President Phelekezela Mpoko insulted many who are forced by the situation created by Zanu PF, to try and make a living by whatever means available.

It should not be necessary to remind both men that with less than 5 per cent of our total population in paid employment and an economy that is shrinking daily, most Zimbabweans have no choice but to try and make a living by whatever means are available. Street traders are no exception and instead of threatening them and trying to evict them from their places of work, the State should be considering their needs and attempting to make provision for these.

The MDC will not be associated with any efforts to force street traders from the places where that are making a living but will work with Informal sector Associations to try and make things better for them and to find ways in which to enable them to provide their clients with value for money in a socially acceptable manner.

There are 2.5 million informal sector traders in Zimbabwe on top of thousands of mini bus operators and over 500 000 informal sector miners. Nearly a third of all foreign trade is conducted by small cross border traders, most of them women.

Without their efforts the economic situation in Zimbabwe would be dire indeed. It is no exaggeration to say that their hard work, initiative and enterprise is all that stands between Zimbabwe and a total economic implosion. They do this in the face of untold hardship, a hostile civil service, an arrogant and corrupt police force and little or no support from the State.

To try and alleviate these harsh conditions, the MDC in association with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and bodies representing the interests and concerns of the informal traders and businesspersons, is undertaking a programme of national consultations to try and determine needs and an appropriate response. Once this is concluded we will decide what actions to take in all Urban Areas under MDC leadership.

In the meantime it is also necessary to remind everyone that the informal sector is the nursery for the formal sector entrepreneurs of the future. MDC is proud of what these small business persons are achieving in very difficult conditions. We will not make things worse we leave that to Zanu PF.

Eddie Cross

Secretary for Local Government

Source : Movement for Democratic Change