Ven­dors urged to get off the streets

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - In­no­cent Ruwende and Melissa Makoto

HARARE City Coun­cil and the Na­tional Ven­dors’ Union of Zim­babwe (Navuz) yes­ter­day ap­pealed to all il­le­gal ven­dors to leave the streets vol­un­tar­ily to but­tress ef­forts to con­tain the cur­rent cholera out­break.

In a state­ment, coun­cil said ven­dors should re­lo­cate to their des­ig­nated vend­ing sites.

“Harare City Coun­cil ap­peals to mem­bers of the in­for­mal sec­tor to vol­un­tar­ily move out of the streets of the Harare CBD be­gin­ning to­day to des­ig­nate trad­ing sites,” read part of state­ment.

“This ap­peal comes in the wake of the cholera out­break in Harare, which is now spread­ing to other cities and towns and provinces. We have taken this ac­tion in the in­ter­est of pub­lic health. We are in con­stant en­gage­ment with the lead­er­ship of the in­for­mal sec­tor to map sus­tain­able so­lu­tions.”

Navuz urged ven­dors to com­ply with the ap­peal while a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion to their sit­u­a­tion was be­ing worked out.

Ad­dress­ing the me­dia at Town House yes­ter­day, Navuz pres­i­dent Mr Stan Zvor­wadza said it was im­per­a­tive that ac­tion be taken im­me­di­ately to ad­dress health threats posed by cholera.

“How­ever, the last­ing so­lu­tion is only that which is de­vel­oped by the in­for­mal traders for them­selves. Any­thing that is de­vel­oped for them with­out their in­volve­ment will not be suc­cess­ful,” he said.

“Pre­vi­ous at­tempts to solve the is­sue of vend­ing on the streets with­out in­volv­ing the in­for­mal traders have al­ways turned vi­o­lent and not yielded the de­sired re­sults and trad­ing has in­creased dras­ti­cally. This is fact and on record. It does not pay to keep re­peat­ing the same method­ol­ogy and hope to get a dif­fer­ent re­sult.”

Mr Zvor­wadza said Navuz pro­poses a grass­roots-based strat­egy to deal with ur­ban vend­ing in a non-con­fronta­tional approach.

He said the strat­egy is rooted in per­sua­sion and par­tic­i­pa­tory method­ol­ogy in solv­ing the vend­ing cri­sis, which is preva­lent in most ur­ban ar­eas.

“The in­for­mal traders must par­tic­i­pate in the main­stream econ­omy through par­tic­i­pa­tion in busi­ness con­tracts in all sec­tors. They must be ac­corded a frac­tion of all main­stream con­tracts in or­der to sup­port their ini­tia­tives,” he said.

“Navuz has part­nered with a num­ber of in­sti­tu­tions to see this through to re­al­ity. We call for more sup­port from cen­tral Gov­ern­ment, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and pri­vate play­ers if Zim­bab­wean ur­ban land­scape is to be clean and healthy enough to attract busi­ness and in­vest­ment.”

He said Navuz strat­egy pro­poses a 100-day pe­riod to start record­ing re­sults from its ini­tia­tive.

Mr Zvor­wadza said if a por­tion of ten­ders were given to in­for­mal traders that will go a long way in ad­dress­ing the con­gested ur­ban ar­eas since the ma­jor­ity of the in­for­mal traders have bet­ter eco­nomic en­gage­ment al­ter­na­tives than vend­ing.

“Given the nec­es­sary sup­port, 100 days are enough to see move­ment in a pos­i­tive di­rec­tion of de­con­ges­tion and it is hoped this will per­ma­nently erad­i­cate the in­ces­sant threat of me­dieval plagues like cholera and ty­phoid,” he said.

— (Pic­ture by Justin Mu­tenda)

Health and Child Care Min­is­ter Dr Oba­diah Moyo chats with res­i­dents at Ticha­garika Shop­ping Cen­tre dur­ing his visit to the cholera-stricken Glen View sub­urb in Harare yes­ter­day.

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