Vendors demand compensation

By Blessings Mashaya

Zimbabwean street vendors march towards Parliament to submit a petition
Zimbabwean street vendors march towards Parliament to submit a petition in 2015

The union’s executive director, Alphonce Haruzivishe, claimed that there are vendors who have been maimed, while some lost their valuable wares during raids by police.

“There are many victims of police brutality, recently, the police killed vendors and also injured a number of vendors. Some lost their wares. We are going to hold national wide campaigns demanding the government to compensate all these people,” he said.

“The powers that be must know that even compensation cannot replace life, it is valueless. However, compensation will, in a way, remedy or mitigate in some way the loss of a beloved one through unnatural means,” Haruzivishe said, adding that “the victims’ dependents need to attain and realise their full potential as citizens.

Like any parent, the victims had plans for their children and dependents, but life was cut short through recklessness”.

He said “Navuz calls upon the police to restrain from use of maximum force that lead to loss of life, live ammunition must be banned from the streets, they are not war zones. The government in general and the police in particular must value life. They must be responsible and accountable.

Compensation of the victims of state violence is morally correct in this instance”.

Haruzivishe said assistance given by the government at funerals of the bereaved families was a mockery.

“The spouse, children and dependents were exposed to extreme suffering through loss of love, affection and support. No compensation can buy these. However, as Navus, we feel compensation will be in the direction towards mitigation and remediation of the suffering family members.”

“As Navuz we acknowledge the meagre assistance rendered to the funerals for the bereaved families. However, we are saying assistance was a mockery, little and insignificant. It is not enough. Compensation is preferred, since it is a just way of dealing with the misdemeanour committed by the police force.”

He further said: “It has suddenly dawned on our membership that the State is in a perpetual spirit of habitually commuting wanton injustices on our membership whenever we are carrying on our work and business in the streets.  It is time the government be made accountable to our membership.

“Our members had their goods confiscated without any record on several occasions; they have been killed and or injured while at work through State violence. It is time our membership claim and demand compensation for all these Injustices. We are working on a broad comprehensive framework as a vendors union to seek redress of these and other injustices perpetrated on our membership.” DailyNews