Home » Governance » Harare Council Short Changing Us – Vendors

THE rainy season has brought no joy to Harare City Council registered vendors who are conducting their daily business in open spaces as they do not have proper facilities.

This is despite the fact that they pay taxes daily and yet the council is not doing anything to improve their terminals.

Vendors operating right in front and opposite of the Town House threatened to boycott paying the required $2 or $3 fee if nothing is done to improve facilities for them to sell their wares.

“They are just after our money and imagine they see us through those windows from Town House yet they don’t even feel pity for us,” said one Mavis Matambanadzo.

National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe national director Samuel Wadzai said the authorities were informed about the issue of shelter for vendors and they promised to act but up to now nothing has been done.

“We have had several meetings with the directors and they promised to build shelter for our members (vendors) who are paying their daily taxes as soon as possible,” said Wadzai.

He said “Not only should they (council) provide shelter but also provide toilets and running water for those that sell vegetables and fruits to stop the spread of diseases such as cholera and typhoid.”

Precious Shumba from Harare Residents Association said council officials were preoccupied with their salaries and allowances and will never put much effort in uplifting the welfare of the vendors.

He said: “It’s not only during the rainy season even during the summer just visit any place and you will see how vendors will be sweating to make a living at their workstations.”

Shumba added: “So in as much as the city fathers may want to speed up the sheltering process those officials will drag their feet.”

“Some vendors have invested by buying big umbrellas but those umbrellas can only protect them from the sun not during the rainy season.”

Street commerce has become a new form of survival in Zimbabwe as people try to make a living.

Most vendors just put a piece of cloth or a table on road sides and pavements and start conducting business.

The 2012 census showed that companies in the informal sector employed 5, 8 million persons. At the lower end are street vendors who sell their wares on streets.

Harare council is one of the local authorities that were found to be paying “corrupt” salaries with the Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi, together with his fellow directors, earning more half a million a month.

NewZimbabwe.com failed to get comment from Harare City Council’s communication department.

Source : New Zimbabwe