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HARARE: Street vending is not exclusive to Zimbabwe but is an African problem which speaks to poor governance of resources by both domestic and external actors, a local economist has said.
In an interview with Newzimbabwe.com, Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust (SARST) executive director John Makamure said Africa’s resources are not contributing to the development of the region as the resources were being exploited by both domestic and external investors.
Makamure said corruption played a big part in the decline of African economies.
“Vending is not just a problem of Zimbabwe alone, but Africa as a whole. The situation has risen due to poor governance and lack of transparency in the way institutions are managed,” he said.
He said inequality continued to grow among citizens, the poor becoming poorer and the rich becoming richer, a scenario which he described as “disturbing”.
“With the way countries are governed, proceeds go to the few and poverty worsens,” Makamure said.
On the Zimbabwean situation, the economist deplored the cat and mouse game being played by vendors and local authorities.
Makamure said it is the government’s responsibility to provide a lasting solution to the vendors issue without depriving them of their livelihoods.
“While local government is right in trying to restore normalcy in the CBD it should also consider the fact Zimbabwean economy is now largely characterised by the informal sector,” he said.
African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) Research Officer, Caroline Dhanah concurred.
She said: “The hardworking nature of Zimbabweans is proof enough that they abide by the law and take pride in what they produce.”
“They should be respected for their attitude towards life and be treated humanely,” Dhanah added.
Dhanah said the government should tap into the informal sector which now occupies a larger portion of the economy by formalising vendors’ activities through provision of proper selling points and introduce taxes.
This week, a visiting Gambian Town Clerk of Banjul City said the problem of vendors in Africa should be solved amicably through negotiations.
Ustafa Bachili said most African countries lack infrastructure to accommodate vendors. source-newzimbabwe
photo- Street vendors selling fruits and vegetables in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe