The Widows for Economic Development (Widows4ED) union has petitioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa to fire Provincial Development Coordinator (PDC), Tafadzwa Muguti, following their eviction from ark Street, Harare where they were vending.
Vendors were authorised by the late Harare Provincial Minister, Oliver Chidawu in 2018, to sell their products in the open space on Saturday and Sunday only.
However, Muguti closed the site in September ordering armed anti-riot officers to seal it off.
Widows4ED addressed its letter to Mnangagwa and copied it to Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Zanu-PF provincial chairperson Godwills Masimirembwa, Police Commissioner General, Godwin Matanga, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe. Read the letter signed by Fungai Mutinsi, the Widows4ED chairperson:
Our main challenge is Muguti who defied a Court Order by unleashing the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on September 17. Old women were threatened and told they would be thoroughly beaten.
After realising that most of the widows and youths were unable to engage in productive activities because of exorbitant rentals charged by property owners, we decided to introduce the concept of a weekend market to bring convenience and affordability to the shopping public, while giving widows and youths access to affordable trading spaces.
Beginning 2016, we approached various authorities within both central and local government, culminating in the granting of permission to use Park Street during weekends for the Weekend Market concept.
Over the past six years that we have been operating, a significant number of widows and youths have managed to upgrade their operations migrating from being weekend table operators to owners of boutique shops in and outside Harare.
Since the unfortunate passing on of (former Harare province minister Oliver) Chidawu, the Park Street Weekend Market has been under siege from the very people who never liked the concept…
Muguti told us in our face that he had instructions from you, your Excellency, to shut down our weekend market. This was shocking and difficult to believe, as we do not know you as a person who is against the uplifting of marginalised members of the society.
Muguti clearly stated that he is the President’s blue-eyed boy in Harare and had direct orders from the President to clear the rot caused by the late Chidawu.
We kindly request that you reconsider the suitability of Muguti as Harare PDC regards his conduct which violates the country’s law and will likely foment negative sentiment against the government and the party.
Muguti recently gave all councils under his authority orders to initiate a cleanup campaign.