Vendors demand arrest of money changers

https://www.newsday.co.zw/2017/05/02/vendors-demand-arrest-money-changers/

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
corners.

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
environment.

“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.

BVTA Press Statement on Workers Day Commemorations on May 1 2017

 

Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) joins the entire global community to commemorate International Workers Day. BVTA today stands in solidarity with thousands of unemployed Zimbabweans who have resorted to vending and trading as the only source of livelihood under the country’s prevailing difficult economic environment.

BVTA implores the government to put the interests 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.

We are still aggrieved that the informal sector is besieged with many challenges i.e. lack of clear government policies on social security, lack of medical health care schemes but it is the biggest employer with over 5 million Zimbabweans.

We are deeply concerned that at local level informal workers are facing a glaring criminalization of their sector, municipal law enforcement agents are unleashed to conduct violent raids that have maimed vendors and left trails of destruction. Vendors’ goods continue to be confiscated and disappear on their way to storage facilities.

BVTA is shocked by the selective application of the law where vendors are brutally raided and while street money changers in street corners are left untouched. We call upon the local authority to treat all citizens in an equal manner and respect their equal rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

BVTA demands clarity on the meaning of the formalization of the informal sector when informal workers are made to go through a rigorous police vetting process and completion of registration forms in application for vending licenses at municipal offices but some sectors of the society still argue vendors are not formalized.

We hope this years’ Workers Day commemoration will provide 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.