By Helen Kadirire
President Emmerson Mnangagwa was in no-show at an interface meeting with vendors in Harare yesterday. The event, which was organised by National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) chairperson Sten Zvorwadza, saw only a few informal traders pitching up, collecting Zanu PF T-shirts and leaving immediately after.
Mnangagwa did not pitch up, and instead Zanu PF chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri stood in for him.
The few remaining vendors were bombarded with adverts from State-run firms, with the Navuz chairperson urging vendors to use their services not the parastatals’ “opposition competition.”
Zvorwadza, who claimed that the event was non-partisan, told Environment minister Muchinguri-Kashiri — who stood in for Mnangagwa — that vendors were being victimised by municipal police officers.
He said in 2015 when councils launched a blitz against vendors, they confiscated their wares but nothing was returned to this day.
“We want a commission of enquiry to investigate all councillors in urban local authorities from 2013 to 2018 who took part in the blitz that confiscated wares,” he said.
Zvorwadza said vendors must not blindly vote for opposition councillors who do not have their needs at heart.
He said pirate taxis or mushika-shika and money changers were the backbone of the economy through the essential services they provide daily.
Munhumutapa Royal Charter president Ephraim Chizola said the vendor blitz was a sly way to make vendors turn against government.
“Vendors are on the streets by choice. We are also very learned people, we also have degrees. In 2013 we did not vote wisely. Most urban local authorities are full of opposition party councillors who do not care about vendors,” he said.
Muchinguri-Kashiri promised the vendors that their concerns would be addressed once Mnangagwa had been voted into power. –DailyNews