Vendors express concern over cushioning allowances, demolitions of stalls

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The informal traders in Zimbabwe have expressed concerned over the delays in the payments of the cushioning grants that was supposed to cushion vendors and informal traders.

The traders have called upon to the 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.

“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,” said the traders.

The traders through their various associations said they would like to remind the government that their members are suffering from hunger in their homes, adding that others are living with chronic diseases and are at greater risk at this moment.

“Vendors and informal traders are aware of the dangers posed by COVID19 and we 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,” added the traders.

The traders also said they strongly condemn the demolition and razing down of vendors and informal traders working spaces, by the government without coming up with clear alternative designated trading spaces.

They added that, the government and the 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.

“We also call for an immediate stop to the demolitions across the country. For example, in Gweru people were given till yesterday (Sunday) to clear their stalls, as of today demolitions start.

“We hope government will urgently pay attention to the issues that we have raised,” said the group of associations.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31