Published On: Fri, Jan 6th, 2017

Informal traders blast government over fruit and vegetable ban

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Simon Munyoro     

Informal traders under the banner of the Zimbabwe Informal Economy Associations 

(ZCIEA) have described the Inter-ministerial body on typhoid ban on the sale of fruit and vegetables as nonsensical, impractical and have vowed to resist the ban arguing that government is hiding behind a figure as there are many contributory factors to typhoid.

Addressing journalists at Media Center in Harare this afternoon ZCIEA President Lorraine Sibanda  said vendors were shocked by the fact that the inter-ministerial committee’s first reaction  identified vendors as the chief source of the Typhoid out break whilst avoiding the real source of the mess who are the local authorities and the Ministry of Local Government.

“For year the Harare City Council has neglected the dilapidated and dysfunctional water reticulation and delivery systems, leading to an “accepted” trend of burst sewer pipes and now permanent tributaries of human waste in sewage water around Harare.

“This is also true of other local authorities throughout major parts of the country. Those who live in glass houses should not walk around naked because glass is transparent and the inter-ministerial committee is a glass house that ministries have built.

Sibanda reiterated that the government was found wanting and should take responsibility for the ongoing demise.

“We have pertinent questions to ask, why the Ministry of Health has neglected to instruct or to direct the local authority to clean up the feacal mess flowing in the locations for a good number of years which in itself is a heath time bomb. Where they waiting for typhoid?

“What measures if any did the ministry of local government take to ensure that local authorities improve water reticulation and delivery systems? Why did the Ministry of Environment  not take the local authority to task for neglecting waste collectionand water delivery and processing?As for the Ministry of SMEs what realistic and meaningful measures  have they taken to protect the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable majority of informal economy workers in Zimbabwe?,” queried Sibanda.

She said that government must desist from viewing vendors as corrosive elements to health and noted most people have turned to vending because the government is failing to create employment.

Sibanda added that vendors were not going to follow government’s directive and pointed out that they were prepared to take drastic measures to defy the ban.