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Informal traders concerned about cushioning funds delays and demolition of their stalls

by Stephen Jakes
28 Apr 2020 at 08:57hrs | Views
The informal traders across the country have come together to complain over the delays by government to give them cursing allowances in the advent of Covid-19 lockdown that has crippled their operations at the same time condemning the demolition of the stalls by the councils.

"We the undersigned associations, concerned about the delays in the payments of the cushioning grants that was supposed to cushion vendors and informal traders. We call upon government through its relevant ministries to provide information on progress made so far. We also call on government through its relevant ministries to immediately release the cushioning fund as the situation is dire for many vendors and informal traders," the traders said in a joint statement.

"We also call on government to state the proposed figures that will be disbursed. Press releases have stated that the expected amount is ZWL$200, we would like to state that the proposed figure is very paltry considering the prevailing prices of basic commodities. We would like to remind Government that our members are suffering from hunger in their houses and the truth is that there is no food in their houses, our members living with chronic diseases are at greater risk at this moment."

They said Vendors and informal traders are aware of the dangers posed by #COVID19 and they are willing and ready to honour the directive to stay at home during this difficult time as a nation of Zimbabwe and the entire World at  large but hunger is now another big disaster in households.

"We are now receiving cases of domestic violence because families are beginning to have fights due to shortages of food.  We would like to let government know that some of most of our members will be not able to restock because all their little incomes have been depleted on food. We also strongly condemn the demolition and razing down of vendors and informal traders working spaces, without coming up with clear alternative designated trading spaces. In the same vein, the government & local authorities must consult/ involve the informal sector representatives in decision making before they make resolutions that affect the livelihood of informal sector players since now 85% of the nation is in the informal sector," they said.

"We also call for an immediate stop to the demolitions across the country. For example, in Gweru people were given till today (Sunday) to clear their stalls, as of tomorrow demolitions start. We hope government will urgently pay attention to the issues that we have raised in this statement "

The traders involved in the concerns issued are stated below:

1. Vendors Initiative for Social Economic Transformation (VISET)
2. Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA)
3. National Vendors Union Zimbabwe (NAVUZ)
4. WABAZ Women Alliance of Business Associations in Zimbabwe.
5. Zimbabwe Applied Arts in Craft Association (ZAACA)
6. Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA)
7. Zimbabwe Cross Border Traders Association (ZCBTA)
8. Zimbabwe Informal Traders Council (ZITC)
9. Zimbabwe Progressive Airtime Vendors Association (ZPAVA)
10. Small Medium Enterprises Association of Zimbabwe (SMEAZ)
11. 100% Empowerment Trust
12. Chipinge Chamber of SMEs
13. Combined Cross Border (CCB)
14. Zimbabwe Vendors Association (ZVA)

Source - Byo24News