By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
The Social Democrats Association (SODA), has called upon the government to safeguard the interests of informal traders.
This follows the demolition of vending stalls of traders in Harare and several other cities as government embarked on another ‘Murambatsvina’ operation.
The demolitions have negatively affected the lives of informal traders who rely on the stalls to earn a living.
In a press statement released Monday, SODA said there was no justification to the demolition of the structures.
“We feel the pain of the majority of people who bank their livelihoods on street vending and join them in making their cry louder. Whatever the justification which can be given by the government, it will not surpass the importance of people’s livelihoods.
“It was so sad to see the government deploying the Zimbabwe Republic Police ZRP and municipal police to destroy where people gets a living. Both ZRP and municipal police are construction of our taxes are used against our livelihoods, there is no fuel to collect garbage but there is fuel and money to enable operation of bulldozers to destroy vending stalls.
“Majority of the people who were affected by the situation are youths some of them graduates who turned vendors due conditions beyond their control such as poor policies, disenfranchisement and lack of opportunities. We exhort government to reflect before taking any action which has implications on people’s livelihoods.
The destruction of the sources of people’s livelihoods is likely to hype drug abuse by youth who will be seeking solace and refuge from unbearable situations, stimulate suicidal thoughts, increase crime rate, ignite civil unrest and many other political, social and economic calamities,” SODA noted.
The government is accused of ignoring other illegal structures that were built on wet lands.
“If our government is serious with enforcing rule of law why is corporate ecocide is left unattended, the finished examples being Long Cheng along Bulawayo road and Metro Peach along Seke Road, the two are literally built on top of wetlands also not forgetting the mining of coal in Hwange National park which increased the conflict between wild animals and human beings in the Dinde Community,”