GWERU: Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) recently commemorated International Street Vendors’ Day at Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in Gweru, Mkoba.
The international day of street vendors started in India and it is commemorated on the 14th of November every year across the world
The day is significant as it highlights the central role that is played by the vendors towards their building and sustaining local economies.
Speaking at this auspicious event Executive Director VISET Samuel Wadzai said the right for vendors to earn a decent livelihood is always under threat.
“Unfavorable bylaws and municipal regulations always hinder the vendors, social protection for informal workers is not prioritized. VISET believes that decongesting the city should be done in a manner that does not infringe the street vendors’ right to livelihoods,” said Wadzai.
The commemorations were graced by various stakeholders which include Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD), Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA), Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) and Gweru City Council (GCC).
In his speech, GCC Mayor, DR Josiah Makombe assured the vendors that the cat and mouse game will come to an end as more infrastructure is being built to accommodate all the vendors.
“Sometimes I am the one who gives the directive to chase vendors in the streets. As the council we are obliged to accommodate all the vendors, we need to engage so that we map a way forward,” said Makombe.
Meanwhile, ZIMCODD Programs Manager John Maketo said there is a need to recognize the informal traders so that they are given equal opportunities.
“In the interest of social and economic justice there should be equality between the vendors and equal access to opportunities as they are all Zimbabweans give them proper places to run their businesses,” said Maketo.