Create employment first, NAVUZ tells Government

National Vendors Union Zimbabwe (NAVUZ) yesterday ordered government to create employment before driving vendors out of the streets.

Addressing a policy brief held at the Media Centre on 11 February 2015, Samuel Wadzai, the Secretary of NAVUZ said they won’t move an inch from their current places of operation until government creates employment.

“We are going to resist any force that is meant to drive vendors away from their current places of operation. Government should create employment first,” said Wadzai.

This comes after Minister Chombo and Vice President Mphoko declared war on vendors by making reckless utterances about the vending, which at the moment is the biggest employer in the country.

Wadzai reminded government that its failure to create employment has seen vendors flooding in the streets.

“The majority of vendors are into vending not by choice but they are just trying to make ends meet in an economy that’s fluctuating, said Wadzai adding that vending is the only available survival tactic for the unemployed people.

“We do not consider ourselves employed, so government should let us sell in the streets until they have a place for us in the formal sector,” he said.

Nyasha Muchichwa of the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) echoed the above sentiments when he ironically said government is informalising the economy and is proud of it.

“The government of Zimbabwe has not failed to create employment but it is still in the process of failing,” sarcastically said Muchichwa.

Vendors interviewed by 263Chat expressed agony over the proposed “Operation Murambatsvina’ on vendors claiming that government should come up with better policies for vendors.

Listen to some of the vendors share their realities:

  1. Vendor #1
  2. Vendor #2
  3. Vendor #3
  4. Vendor #4 

“Government should create a conducive environment for us because we don’t have anywhere else to go. Vending is my life,” said Alex Chikomo who sells newspapers and airtime in the CBD.

As companies continue to close and retrench workers, vending is now the chief source of survival, not only in Harare but throughout the country.

The skyrocketing number of vendors is a stark reflection of the unkind economic realities many Zimbabweans face in a country where the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstats) ridiculously claims unemployment rate stands at 11% instead of above 90% as claimed by independent analysts.

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