Vendors across the country have been negatively affected by the recent riots as an undeclared ‘curfew’ now makes it difficult for them to conduct their business.
In an interview with Newsday reporter, Obey Manayiti, Vendors Initiative for Socio-Economic Transformation (Viset) leader Samuel Wadzai said that there is wanton abuse of street traders by security forces. Wadzai had this to say:
The situation is very tense. We are witnessing wanton abuse of street traders at the hands of Zimbabwe Republic Police and the army.
Hundreds of our members are being rounded up and arrested. This latest clampdown comes amid a nationwide operation by armed forces that has seen thousands of vendors losing money and wares to soldiers, who were robbing them at gunpoint.
Vendors are not criminals, but ordinary people seeking livelihoods and must be allowed to feed their families, especially when the government has failed to provide formal jobs.
We also note that there is an undeclared curfew which is infringing on the people’s right to movement and liberty. The impact of this is hurting and our members are the worst hit by this so-called crackdown.