The demolition of vending structures without alternative provisions to sustain lives during nation lockdown is a clear highlight of the country’s indifferent leadership, Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) has lashed.
The demolitions commenced in Mbare on independence day and have so far spread to Highfield, Chitungwiza, Glen Norah, Glenview and Kambuzuma.
While the move looks to alleviate ticking health time bombs, ZimRights noted that it is affecting the majority of Zimbabweans who earn a living from informal trade.
“At a time when Zimbabwe expects compassionate leadership in the face of the devastating effect of COVID 19 measures on suffering Zimbabweans, the Zimbabwean state has decided to inflict further injury on its people.
“The demolished structures were the sole means of livelihoods for around 90% of Zimbabweans who fail to secure gainful and formal employment which largely resulted from bad governance. We believe bad choices, corruption and misplaced priorities by the state have contributed to the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy, in turn driving enterprising Zimbabweans to engage in honest and non-criminal activities to put food on their tables,” reads a statement from the institution.
The organisation added that the demolition without a viable alternative constitute an infringement of the public’s economic rights.
“It is disconcerting to note the ambush – style used to demolish the structures, akin to kicking a man when he is down. Ordinary Zimbabweans are starving during this lockdown where their government does not have a rescue plan for them. The demolitions, without a proper and viable alternative, constitute an infringement of people’s economic rights. Indeed, Section 13 of the Zimbabwean Constitution speaks on the need for the State and all its institutions to take measures to promote private initiative and self –reliance,” said the human rights body.
Government has since been urged to immediately provide alternatives for the affected citizens.
“ZimRights therefore calls on government to respect the rights of its citizens to earn a decent living and immediately make available viable alternatives to the affected citizens as well as take serious measures to resuscitate the economy. Where allocations of vending sites is to be done, we call on the responsible authorities to do so in a transparent and non-partisan manner.”
Meanwhile, Prophet T Freddy has also fallen victim to this operation following the demolition of his church structure in Glenview.