BULAWAYO Vendors and Traders’ Association (BVTA) has rapped the
government and local authorities for clamping down on its members,
while illegal cash dealers are left to operate freely on street
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI – NewsDay Newspaper, Zimbabwe
In a statement to mark commemorations of International Workers’ Day
yesterday, BVTA said it was shocked by the selective application of
the law, where vendors are brutally raided, while money changers on
street corners are left untouched.
“We call upon the local authority to treat all citizens in an equal
manner and respect their rights as enshrined in the Constitution of
Zimbabwe,” the association said.
The group said it stood in solidarity with thousands of unemployed
Zimbabweans, who have resorted to vending as the only source of
livelihood under the country’s prevailing difficult economic
“We are still aggrieved that the informal sector is besieged with many
challenges ie lack of clear government policies on social security,
lack of medical healthcare schemes, but it is the biggest employer
with over 5 million Zimbabweans,” part of the statement read.
“We are deeply concerned that at local level informal workers are
facing a glaring criminalisation of their sector, municipal law
enforcement agents are unleashed to conduct violent raids that have
maimed vendors and left trails of destruction. Their goods continue to
be confiscated and disappear on their way to storage facilities.”
BVTA demanded clarity on the meaning of the formalisation of the
informal sector when informal workers were made to go through a
rigorous police vetting process and completion of registration forms
in application for vending licences at municipal offices, but some
sectors of the society still argue vendors are not formalised.
“We hope this year’s Workers Day commemorations provided an
opportunity for the government to pause and reflect on the informal
sector and provide decent working conditions for informal workers in
order to achieve an inclusive economy,” it said.
The group said government should put interest of informal workers
first and adopt practical steps towards creating conducive conditions
for the informal sector to thrive in line with provisions on economic
and social rights in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe yesterday joined the rest of the world in commemorating Workers’ Day.