National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) leader Sten Zvorwadza yesterday gave President Robert Mugabe a two-week ultimatum to clear his name over the harassment of vendors in the central business district of Harare.
The Joint Operation Command recently ordered the ejection of vendors from the streets of Harare, claiming they were becoming a nuisance to the smooth flow of business and also causing littering in the once Sunshine City.
Harare City Council has teamed up with the Zimbabwe Republic Police in the operation to remove the vendors.
Although the operation has been largely successful, there were pockets of resistance, with the vendors vowing to fight on.
While addressing vendors and other stakeholders in Harare yesterday, Zvorwadza said Mugabe should clear his name.
“We have given the President an ultimatum of two weeks that he must come out clean, whether or not he is part of this violent behaviour by ZRP. If he is, then we will rate him accordingly, we will put a scale that rates him accordingly,” he said.
Zvorwadza said there was a lot of abuse in the form of assault, loss of property and arbitrary arrests of vendors for no apparent reason.
Last year, he led a series of anti-government demonstrations in Harare.
“If all this is being done in the name of the President, we want him to come out clean and if he doesn’t, we will paint him with the same brush that we are painting ZRP and from there onwards, we will know that we have an evil President, we have a President without a heart and we have a President without any spirit to serve his people,” Zvorwadza added.
He said instead of forcing vendors out of their selling points, the government must first establish an account to pay out vendors through the social welfare fund, create the jobs matching the numbers on the street and create informal markets with all the facilities.
“We are not going to move away from the streets of Harare. We said it before and we are saying it again. President Mugabe has no capacity to remove street vendors from the streets,” Zvorwadza said.
As for the foreign currency dealers, Zvorwadza said they were the new banking system in the country supporting the economy, hence, they must be allowed to operate freely.