Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Govt moves to ban street vending

By Blessings Mashaya

Government is moving to banish vendors from the streets of Harare, in a move likely to spark outrage among hordes of hawkers who have poured into Harare’s streets to eke out an honest living.

File picture of vendors on the street in Zimbabwe (Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda)
File picture of vendors on the street in Zimbabwe (Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda)

This comes as economic experts have said the hardships afflicting Zimbabwe have reduced the country to one of vendors, with everyone trying to sell something to survive.

In most streets in the urban areas, scores of young men and women roam around selling an assortment of products including cell phone recharge cards, vegetables, clothes, traditional herbs and skin lightening creams.

This has seen virtually all streets in Harare’s central business district (CBD) being littered with card-board boxes, and making them dirty and difficult to navigate during peak hours — a huge contrast from their squeaky clean image of two decades ago.

Addressing members of the Zanu PF youth league in Harare yesterday, President Robert Mugabe said the vendor menace which is driving formal business outside the CBD will soon be a thing of the past under an edict aimed at bringing order to the bustling city of some two million people.

He said food stalls would be moved off the pavements and some could be relocated to new sites, adding that he will not allow street vending to be a common feature of Harare “Nigerian style.”

The Zanu PF leader said vendors should move out as government will not accept the chaos they bring, adding that they must accept to be relocated to designated vending stalls and trade openly where the authorities would have assigned them.

This comes as Mugabe’s administration is facing criticism for failing to create jobs for the burgeoning, young population.

“When I arrived from South Africa, I heard that Harare is now dirty with vendors now everywhere, even streets which were given names such as (Julius) Nyerere and Robert Mugabe are now covered with dirt,” Mugabe told the meeting of his Zanu PF youth wing yesterday.

“Some vendors are selling their wares during the night so that they cannot be arrested.”

Ever since the City of Harare launched a crackdown on vendors, they have taken to selling their wares well into the night to evade municipal police and also make a better killing through quick sales to a homeward-bound workforce.

Mugabe said he was told that some senior Zanu PF leaders were protecting the vendors because they fear losing the forthcoming 2018 elections.

“I was talking to (Home Affairs minister Ignatius) Chombo yesterday saying why do we allow our roads to be grocery shops? I said we must give them designated areas so that they will sell their wares outside the roads and leave the roads free.

“He told me that the vendors are saying they want to sell their products everywhere.

“I said that we don’t want that indiscipline, down with that indiscipline, they must go to designated areas.

“We don’t want the Nigerian style. Harare must be the smartest city because it is our capital city,” Mugabe said.

His sentiments come as there are fears the country could sink to the economic depths of 2007/2008 when shops were empty and inflation hit world-record levels, resulting in untold pain and suffering for the majority of citizens

Many people turned to vending after losing their jobs, with at least over 85 percent of Zimbabweans seeking employment, since Mugabe won the 2013 elections.

The increase of vendors on the streets of Harare was also worsened recently by a sharp hike in price for basic commodities as manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers took advantage of a lull in the monitoring of price controls, blamed on a shortage of cash, to raise their prices to what they said were viable levels.

The problem is not limited to Harare alone but has spread to other cities and towns around the country.

The unemployment strain has been taken up by the so-called informal economy which is dominated by street vendors.

Typically, these workers pay no tax and do not come under regulation, but they do add to a country’s wealth.

Vendors have said they were doing what they were doing out of necessity. Daily News

  • Industries frst

  • They will not. Talk is cheap. They will also suffer much resistance. Left it too late. Harare City Ce… https://t.co/PltQGupsUw

  • tobva tadiii paye

  • SMEs untouchable ,This will create unemployment

  • uuuummmm guys zvinhu zvekudaro hazvidi kudaro

  • saka tobatana neo todyei musadaro plz we

  • And we reverse that in Jesus name Satan your a defeated foe

  • Its just a matter of time.nguva chete

  • Not a solution at all deal the root cause

  • Mabasa acho akuwanika here zvekuti vanhu varenge kuita zvekutengesa

  • Our educated president decides to kill the tree by pruning the leaves. Big Myth: “Zimbabwe is best at… https://t.co/VteU19h3uX

  • Zimbabwe yakugadzira mabhanzi.(bans)

  • Ngavambozviedza tione

  • Maimbo vasiirei vachizara mustreet

  • That’s what Zimbabweans need. They do not get angry hameno kuti muchatsamwa kana zvadii

  • In other news Govt to ban kombis.
    In yet another news Hre to achieve World class standards in 2025.
    In yet, this time, another news Beitbridge-Hre-Chirundu road at advanced stage.
    Right, in yet another news Railway line to Chitungwiza back on track…

    • 😂😂😂

    • tintin

      Kkkk sarcasm yako yonakidza

  • In hurumende iyi ndaishairwa payo. Ko sei vachingomhanyira kuvhara zvinoraramisa vanhu veZimbabwe? Pese panoita kuti munhu mutema ararame napo vanoenda kunotsindira, why? Why?

  • Kutonga Kwaro!!

  • Was it legal.i thought it only became worse due to the destruction of the economy.noone wants 2be a v… https://t.co/eu3HJbkSYw

  • Bloodshed is nearly why are you not doing that quickly

  • They must provide an alternative. This is people’s livelihoods. Where’s the 2 million jobs?!

  • Muramba dhodhi

  • They need to talk to psycho first bcz he thinks that’s the 2million jobs

  • These ppl are earning a living out of this so if they remove them what will they do…….

    • Kumusika muningina, Ndiani anodya panoitirwa wet me ma street kids

  • KKKKKKKK hoo nhai

  • Tinoda kukwanirwa pirizi

  • I think this is another way of fooling you because they will use the police to kick you out of streets…..
    They will publicly announce it on radio that the police should leave you to earn a living in the same streets…. They will tell you to return to the streets…..
    You will be back in the streets you begin to love them begin to praize them begin to give them credit …..
    You vote for them in 2018, they win elections they will trouble you for another 5yrs…. they will treat you the same way over and over again….

    Unless we change our approach to them we remove the spirits of cowardice which we have then we raise up aganist them, we will not enjoy till we die…
    React Zimbabwe stop reasoning be brave defend the future of your children defend values of your nation…

  • Dopori

    Cde Chinamasa, Shumba wasu, is on recoerd as saying SMEs (read street vendors) are the new normal. Dr Amai also is on record as saying street vendors should continue with their activities in the CBDs without hindrance. Now the President says street vendors are an eyesore and should be removed elsewhere. Didn’t we try this trick back in the day when vendors were abortively removed to Coca-Cola along Seke Road? Elections are around the corner. Then there was the Coventry Road holding bays for kombis. How will the Government deal with these dichotomies? I suppose it is not too worried about the urban vote, but me reckons the vote has got its own ramifications on the rural vote, considering that a chunk if not most of the money generated by the vendors finds its way to our rural folk. A rock and a hard place, one might say.

  • Kkkkkkkkkk ndokunge maiwina Hondo yacho

  • Vanopenga arikupi mabasa ? Ngavarege vanhu vatengese vararame

  • Tirikumboenda kupi neupenyu,Mwari pindirai

  • Umm

    That is a good move….kutengesa hakuna kuipa asi pava kuda mimwe misika to accommodate every1. .

    Wekumbare zvakare unofanira kubva , mabhazi ekuruzevha haafanire kusangana nechikafu , mabhazi ngaayende kwawo ega….musika woyenda kwawo….we don’t mind musika une drive through for small cars se urikuvakwa ku BYO.

    Harare inofanira kuva ne misika 4 , with proper infrastructure , mvura , magetsi…for mafiriji , modern toilets , etc, vanhu vowana pekudyira manhanga nechibage pakanaka , tourists incl.

    MDC hapana zvayakatiitira in the last 15yrs muHarare.

  • Tongesera kupi

  • Treat the source of cholera and and not the patient at the clinic.Did we had this criss before the 90s.The Government should be asked ,”WHY NOW?

  • tintin

    You have not provided those jobs you promised people saka moda kuti vararame sei zanu izere mhata mhani

  • Mashaya zvekutaura panews

  • God fearing Nation does not mind about anything – God is in control. Happy Zimbabweans, Farai zvakadaro!! Everybody go sell tomatoes paState House!

  • Pasi ne zanu pf

  • This is the same strategy as murambatsina,left people stranded and some will opt to go back to their rural and many crossing limpopo after registered to vote.

  • Hazvidi kudai …Zim @ its worst

  • The vendors will come back in a matter of few days. Open up industry and everything will fall in place. Clueless Government makes me sick

  • Tsvina and disorder yanyanya, only if there was a better way to let them earn a living.

    • But tinovaona wani vachitsvaira pavanotengesera everyday vanotsvaira vecouncil ndovasiri kutotsvaira but ndobasa ravo plus mumastreets hamuchina mabin

  • Saka vanhu voraramawo neiko nhai

  • Kana isu mavendor akaita hondo tinotonovabatsira

  • Chikiti

    This stupid government, its the one that created this

  • Kana vadzosa indanda yedu zvayaive 90s