By Kizito Faradase
I am a vendor. The life of a vendor is difficult and brutal. We are chased around the city all day and beaten when caught. We spend the nights on cold pavements in the city. We do not go home anymore, there is nothing to go home for. We survive on the streets, and live on them too.
We are subjected to some of the worst persecution and assaults anyone can ever imagine. Our government, and the city fathers prey on us at every chance. Sometimes they take whatever little we have, at times they shackle us like slaves, while most times they just beat us.
It makes you wonder. Where is the disparity between the Zimbabwean government and colonial regime?
There was brute force during the Ian Smith regime congruent to what is happening hitherto. Currently we are using the outdated Rhodesian laws such as the Urban Councils Act of 1976, Sections 12, 13a, 18, 20, 21 and 22, which hinder us from freely doing our work .
Am decrying our beloved country that now appears to be a desert within 30years when actually resources are profuse.
There is gross mismanagement by vultures and wild cats of this country who are appear to have a solution when in actual fact there are relaxing and having honeymoon in the August House .
Most Mps babysit in the parliament and yawn instead of doing their core business. The major problem with our Mps is that they prioritise personal and party interests rather than national interests.
In other countries like south Africa , Botswana and Ghana to mention a few in Africa ,they value their national interests rather than personal interests.
Abroad ,in countries like USA and Britain they prioritise the value of their national history and people by creating job opportunities to cushion the weak and unemployed people from desperately languishing in the street as is happening in Zimbabwe.
Ladies and gentlemen we don’t eat endless speeches like our routinely do when they love to scathingly attack the westerners.
I as the national youth chairman for Zimbabwe Chambers of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA) which is umbrella body representing informal workers, we are being disturbed by the continued harassment and arrest of informal workers going about their business by both the municipal and Zimbabwe Republic Police.
As youth in the informal economy we are ready to defend and fight for our rights. Just to remind the government that they promise us about 2.2millions jobs of which the government failed to create even a single job but retrenching more people who are joining us in the informal economy.
Now the Chidyausiku ruling to terminate employees without benefits is another blow in the informal economy .Beyond doubt all sucked workers will join us in the informal economy , So who is going to buy our goods.
They forget that informal workers drive the economy of Zimbabwe in 2008. It is not by choice that we are informal traders, but the prevailing economic situation has forced many of us, including professionals to venture into the informal sector.
As ZCIEA YOUTH CHAMBER, we will keep guard of our constituency and resist this satanic move on poor informal workers.
It is also my concern that the government does not recognise the informal traders but if they want money like tax they remember that there is informal sector. What is more worrying is that the same government that is preventing us from working is the same government that now wants to collect taxes from us.
Where does ZIMRA expect us to get the money when we are not being allowed to work freely? We are not against taxes but the way there are demanding it whereas there are harassing and brutalising us.
If this continue as youth in the informal economy will be forced to venture it ACTION by the government. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I think the government has gone too far, we are going to march in the streets demanding decent work conditions and recognition as humans . We are aware that the government only recognize us when they need tax and during campaigns.
If our work is legalized and we are allowed to work freely without hindrance, and enjoy, like any other Zimbabwean, our socio-economic rights as enshrined in Chapter 4, Sections 48-78 of the New Zimbabwe Constitution, then surely we can be able to pay our taxes and help the economy get up again because we also believe in transforming the informal activities into mainstream activities.
Recently the government move a motion of demolition houses in Epworth and Chitungwiza just to left families homeless. WHY? These evictions will leave thousands of people in an extremely dire situation, particularly with the rainy season approaching fast. This is unconstitutional and thousand of residents who are also in the informal sector will be greatly affected.
The ZCIEA (ZCIEA YOUTH CHAMBER) would like to warn the government against harassing ,brutalising and criminalization of informal workers .
We are not afraid to march in the streets and demand our rights . #Alutacontinua