Vendors edgy over polls dispute
By Blessings Mashaya
Vendors have made an impassioned plea for the speedy resolution of the presidential election results dispute saying it is adversely affecting their business.
The National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) called on all Zimbabweans to leave behind the country’s recent political turmoil and focus on the future by working hard to resuscitate the ailing local economy.
Navuz leader Sten Zvorwadza said the continued election dispute was adversely affecting the generality of Zimbabweans.
Navuz represents street vendors, people engaged in vending of articles, goods, wares, food items or merchandise of everyday use or offering services to the general public, in a street, lane, side walk, footpath, pavement, public park or any other public place or private area, from a temporary built up structure or by moving from place to place and includes hawkers, peddlers, squatters and all other synonymous terms.
The organisation functions as a solidarity centre for vendors and also engages in research, lobby and advocacy initiatives.
Zvorwadza’s call came as commerce and industry have bemoaned the economic uncertainty that has been created by the disputed July 30, presidential poll in which Zanu PF strongman Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly beat opposition leader Nelson Chamisa — who has since challenged that result at the Constitutional Court (Con-Court).
Zvorwadza said it was time for the country to move on and to build a strong Zimbabwe that all citizens aspire for, irrespective of political affiliation.
“We need to move forward as a nation,” Zvorwadza told the Daily News.
“Our businesses are being affected because of these unnecessary disputes. Everyone must accept result so that the nation will move forward. We are all Zimbabweans and politicians must know that this is not the last election. Those who lost must wait for 2023,” Zvorwadza said.
“We are saying as vendors, some of the leaders who are disputing these results are masters of rigging in their own political parties. We are not happy with some people who want to hold the nation at ransom. As vendors we are eager to see the nation moving forward.”
Millions of Zimbabweans cast their vote in the historic July 30 elections to choose both a new Parliament and president — following the dramatic fall from power of Robert Mugabe in November last year.
However, the peaceful campaigns and a friendly spirit that had characterised the run-up to the elections were marred in the aftermath of the polls when deadly violence broke out in Harare’s central business district (CBD), following clashes between opposition supporters and security agents.
At least six people subsequently died when the army, which had apparently been called in to assist in managing the situation, used live ammunition to break up the ugly protests.