Barely a month after the Zanu PF government destroyed vending stalls belonging to informal traders, the same ruling party is now seeking donations from the same people whose livelihoods it destroyed.
Meanwhile the vendors have said that they will not be forced to fund the Zanu PF 2023 election campaign as the ruling party targets raising US$140 million.
Last week, Zanu PF said it was targeting the money from the informal traders, small-scale miners and farmers to raise money as the party gears for the 2023 elections and set up a resource mobilisation committee led by businessman Philip Chiyangwa.
Promise Mkwananzi, Zimbabwe Informal Sectors Organisation executive director said each vendor was free to join and fund a political party of choice, without being forced.
He however, noted that government’s crackdown on the vendors characterised by demolitions of their informal sites makes them incapable of funding Zanu PF.
“Vendors are free to join any political party of their choice and they can even choose to subscribe to financially support that party. But they must not be forced. I am not sure which vendors Zanu PF wants the funding from. Barely a month ago, the Zanu PF government ventured into a clean-up exercise and destroyed the livelihoods of people.
“Zanu PF cannot win the vote of the people through demanding cash. Rather, it should formalise their (vendors) trade. With complete satisfaction of adequate service delivery, the vote of the vendors is guaranteed,” he said.
Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation executive director Samuel Wadzai said vendors were heavily affected by Covid-19 pandemic hence they should not be forced to fund a political campaign.
“A vendor cannot be stopped from funding political parties, but it must be voluntary compliance. However, the request for funding will be difficult especially during the pandemic.
“Vendors are not earning. They are struggling to put food on the table, let alone provide other basics for their families. Therefore, whichever political party is seeking financial assistance from the vendors should be at peace with their failure to meet their expectations. No force should be used.
Zanu PF says is targeting five million votes to win the upcoming elections in 2023.