OPPOSITION political party, Zapu says vendors are not outlaws but victims of the policies of ruling Zanu (PF), corruption and greed that has brought untold suffering to citizens.
By Wellington Zimbowa
Vendors have flooded the streets of Harare as well as other towns as the country’s economy continues on a free-fall after the 2013 elections won by President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.
Zapu spokesperson Mjobisa Noko said his party was saddened that “minority white rule has been replaced by black-to black oppression where economic participation is based on partisan lines leaving millions of Zimbabweans in abject poverty”.
He said the Zapu national executive met in Gweru recently ahead of a planned congress in August and delved on the poor state of the economy.
Noko said the meeting expressed concern that most Zimbabweans have been reduced to vendors as unemployment and poverty continue to ravage the nation.
“The duty of any democratic government is to ensure that strong systems that safeguard people’s welfare are in place as opposed to the current situation where citizens are reduced to begging on the streets,” he said.
“Today poverty is the chief enemy of all Zimbabweans most of whom have been reduced to vending. We therefore demand that government stops harassing these people who are genuine victims of its ill–conceived policies.”
Noko said poverty stricken people had no option but to go vending as the “clueless” government had no idea what to do.
“We are not encouraging street vending but where will the people get a living?” he said.
“Instead of these running battles with vendors, government should focus on rebuilding the economy, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and creating employment.”
Noko said Zapu learnt its lessons in the 2013 elections and was now better prepared for the 2018 general elections.
He said Zapu’s August congress was critical for the preparations of elections.
“Ever since cutting the unholy ties with Zanu PF we have been making huge inroads as a revolutionary giant.
“We managed to field representatives in the 2013 general elections and come 2018 we will go a notch higher,” Noko said.
“It is in this spirit that we are currently on a nationwide restructuring exercise from the grassroots with the upcoming congress set to elect a new leadership.”
He said all positions, including that of President held by Dumiso Dabengwa would be up for grabs.
Noko said two conferences for women and youths would be held by early April ahead of the national congress expected to attract 4 000 delegates.