Zimbabwe Republic Police Officers yesterday reportedly dispersed vendors at Mbare Musika using teargas, Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) reports. According to ZPP, ZRP working with municipal police dispersed the crowds of vendors and informal traders and reportedly arrested pedestrians in Mbare yesterday:
POLICE FIRE TEARGAS IN MBARE Police at Mbare Musika today fired teargas to disperse the crowds of vendors and other informal sector workers. The ZRP, working with the Hre Municipal Police, arrested dozens of pedestrians.
The informal sector, which is the source of income for the majority of Zimbos, has been hard hit by the lockdown. With no govt support grant, informal sector workers are risking it all to continue operating. We urge govt to provide social grants.
ZPP has said The Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Association(ZCIEA) is concerned about police brutality towards vendors who are trying to earn a living during the lockdown. According to ZPP ZCIEA President, Benita Goneso said informal traders are having a hard time trying to make ends meet during the lockdown and some of them have even been evicted by their landlords:
We are the hardest hit by the lockdown since we live on hand to mouth. Without selling our wares it has not been easy to put food on the tables. Some of our members have been evicted by their landlords for failing to pay rent.
Some of the vendors including women have been forced to defy the lockdown but their attempts have been met with brute force by the police. brutality. No social security funds have been availed to us, leaving us desperate and vulnerable.
Informal traders were ordered to close shop when the government imposed a national lockdown to curb spreading COVID-19 on 2 January 2021.
Source: ZPP Twitter