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My reality check on current political developments

In this short piece I seek to express my views that may sound unpopular to my friends. I am making a short analysis of political developments in the country.  Firstly, I want to look at the current epoch of having many political parties. In my view, to have many political parties I think it is the democracy that our parents fought for during the liberation struggle, it is good because it gives people a wide array of choices. However having so many parties, I think it is a result of failure by opposition parties to dislodge ZANU PF over successive years, thus many people think they could be the little messiahs, the other point is that almost all the parties seem to be driven by the desire to get positions or get funding from sponsors than to serve the people.

Advent of many political parties poses an inevitable challenge that the electorate may have problems in identifying party symbols in the ballot as some will be having almost similar signs.  Some opposition leaders seemingly are not genuine but driven by greed and to also try and get numbers that may make them access the Political Parties Finances that is parceled out to parties at the expense of service delivery.

However, having many political parties increases political awareness, as many citizens get to interact with different parties, get acquainted to many manifestos and have expanded choices. Sadly for those with a sense of entitlement that they own voters, they will lament the splitting of the votes. It is very myopic to think that human beings permanently support one political party, people ordinarily go with a party that seem to be best serving their interests. In addition, even political party leaders themselves are fluid as they bed hop from one party to the other which best serve their interests. The entitlement notion must be debunked.

The most unfortunate thing is that ZANU PF maybe the outright winner, if things continue as they are, the opposition is disjointed and fighting itself instead of addressing the problems they are facing. Unless the opposition forms an inclusive coalition. ZANU PF stands a chance to romp to victory due to the simple fact that seemingly they have resources, control ideological institutions and stranglehold on repressive state apparatus. I am naysayer, people must forget about prospects for a Government of National Unity, ZANU PF will consolidate its power after elections and opposition parties will go to the oblivion.

My message to the voters in the next election is that they must vote with their conscience, the country need to move away from politics of populism and focus on looking at the caliber of the leader. Populism has led us to vote thieves and power mongers into positions. Especially at local government level lets vote for people who connect with norms and values of the local community, grounded on aspirations of the local communities than opportunists eyeing to line their pockets when they ascend into offices.  Populism have seen councilors bleeding local authorities especially in Bulawayo. Dozens of councilors have been investigated and found guilty of allegedly looting council resources.  Local communities i.e. residents, vendors must stand firm in the next elections and ensure issue representation at local level, kick out all councilors bent on looting council resources.

Shocked at $3 entry fee at Entumbane Complex terminus

On Friday I drove my old Corolla 16 Value into Entumbane Complex terminus. I was shocked at the exorbitant $3 charges we are made to pay at the entrance to drop passengers inside the terminus. Behind me there was South African registered vehicle also took minutes to look for the $3 required.

I think that is why minibus operators are shunning the terminus and creating their own illegal pick up points.

CityofBulawayo then cries that it is prejudiced
revenue while their policies are very unfair.

To make matters worse there are potholes inside the terminus, one wonders where is that money going.

#CityofBulawayo must relook into this. It is very unfair to motorists and to the traveling public as these costs are transferred to them.

#CityofBulawayo must also introduce per minute billing at the entrance. It’s very unfair to charge me $3 when I am just dropping a traveler and staying less than 20mins.

#CityofBulawayo must introduce payment mechanisms that reduce corruption, my analysis was that some motorists enter after paying less having “negotiated” with the authorities at the entrance. My view is that some fees paid do not find their way into council coffers after “negotiations” because the payment method is susceptible to abuse. You just pay the $3 then the security guard opens the gate for you.

It’s high time #CityofBulawayo adopts Hi-Tech boom / toll gates in all terminuses. From Michael Mdladla Ndiweni #mdladlaspeaks

BVTA learns informal sector best practices from Asiye eTafuleni in Durban, South Africa

Bulawayo Vendors Traders Association embarked on a learning visit to Durban, South Africa that sought to understand how the Asiye eTafuleni informal sector organisation influenced the eThekwini Municipality to rescind from its decision to move Warwick Junction Market and assimilate best practices on inclusive city planning and design. The market is a thriving informal market hub in Durban’s inner city. The visit also helped to inform the ongoing BVTA Research and Advocacy project that seeks to provide thought leadership, addressing informal sector policy knowledge gaps and promoting inclusive city design and planning.
The learning visit unraveled how the organisation led to resistance actions against closure of the Warwick Junction Market. The organisation embedded its strategies on; dialogue with the eThekwini Municipality and use of the legal framework and building the urgency of informal workers to resist the relocation efforts.
BVTA used this platform to harness opportunities provided by the twinning agreement between the City of Bulawayo and City of Durban through the EThekwini Municipality that administers the city in South Africa. BVTA believes that the cooperation between the two organisations will help address some of the informal sector socio – economic challenges faced by the two cities.
BVTA`s entourage was comprised of Michael Ndiweni and Debra Mukasa who met Asiye Etafuleni and a team of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MiT), who have a working partnership with the Asiye eTafuleni informal sector organisation. The parties exchanged ideas on how to harness their experiences, collaborate and support BVTA research project. The BVTA team also had conversations with Dr Trynos Gumbo a researcher at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, who is providing technical support to the Advocacy and Research project.
Key lessons that captivated BVTA from Asiye eTafuleni programming were: the ability of the organisation to document its work, the capacity to model infrastructure, offering training for vendors and allowing informal traders to conduct their own research.
Areas of collaboration between (MiT), Asiye eTafuleni and BVTA were drawn, and these consisted of city planning and infrastructure modeling, education and rights, waste management and developing urban vendors literacy. The visit provided mutual benefits to the two organisations as they pursued plans for Trans-frontier initiatives to address common fundamental challenges faced by vendors and informal workers in the two countries. BVTA greatly benefited from this trip as Asiye eTafuleni shared their insights on informal sector business and gave ideas through sharing their experiences and strengths.

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.

The struggle for rights of vendors continues in Bulawayo

On 27 September 2016 was a special day for us and Wild Trust Zimbabwe to face off with the City of Bulawayo and find mutual beneficial ways to address challenges faced by vendors and informal traders especially women and girls at Presbytarian City Church.

The meeting came at a time when sour relations were escalating between City of Bulawayo and vendors due to their violent raids that have been recorded in the past few weeks resulting in some vendors sustaining serious injuries. Vendors and informal traders especially women face harassment on a daily basis. We believe that this kind of dialogue will help curtail cases of human rights violations recorded in the sector daily. Partners such Nango Western Region, NAVUZ, Uhlelo LweZakhamizi (BPRA), SWITA and ZCIEA supported us.

Mr Elliot Panesu from BCC engineering department responding to questions and also speaking on behalf of other four BCC officials present pledged the City of Bulawayo preparedness to always engage with vendors if there are grievances.

(1) BCC pledged to investigate cases of abuse women and girls especially at Egodini Terminus where they are deprived of water by unscrupulous men who are now selling water from a public tap.
(2) BCC pledged to partner with Bulawayo Vendors Trust and Wild Trust Zimbabwe and conduct joint outreach meetings on City of Bulawayo Bylaws
(3) BCC committed desire to allocate more vending bays to vendors associations.
(4) BCC pledged to conduct periodic meetings with vendors associations.
(5) Address cleanliness in public toilets to address special needs of women and girls.
(6) BCC also committed to attend to individual grievances arising from vendors who felt their issues have not been dealt with adequately by some City of Bulawayo officials.

We pay our gratitude to Wild Trust Zimbabwe for choosing to collaborate with us in this important meeting.

Did you know that 17% of cases of human rights violations recorded in the first quarter of 2016 were against vendors?

Did you know that women and girls vendors buy water from unscrupulous individuals to wash hands after using toilets at Egodini vending area?