SOME vendors have taken the Harare City Council to the Civil Court after municipal cops raided and confiscated their wares which they never returned upon demand. The wares were valued at $3 460.
Tawanda Maziya, Lovemore Chitongo and Taurai Dzambi issued summons to council on Friday last week. Maziya is demanding $1 500, Chitongo $1 090 and Dzambi $870 in compensation from council.
Their goods were confiscated on January 24 during routine raids by council. The trio was arrested and taken to the municipal police headquarters where their wares were recorded.
They were told to return on February 10 for collection. However, on the said date, the goods were not released resulting in the vendors seeking legal action.
In a lawsuit filed by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights dated June 9, the trio cited Chief Superintendent Mawoyo and City of Harare Municipality (represented by the Acting Town Clerk) as the first and second defendants.
The wares included shoes and shirts. The vendors argue that the city’s failure to release their wares violated their rights.
BULAWAYO Vendors and Traders’ Association (BVTA) has rapped the government and local authorities for clamping down on its members, while illegal cash dealers are left to operate freely on street corners.
In a statement to mark commemorations of International Workers’ Day yesterday, BVTA said it was shocked by the selective application of the law, where vendors are brutally raided, while money changers on street corners are left untouched.
“We call upon the local authority to treat all citizens in an equal manner and respect their rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” the association said.
“We are still aggrieved that the informal sector is besieged with many challenges ie lack of clear government policies on social security, lack of medical healthcare schemes, but it is the biggest employer with over 5 million Zimbabweans,” part of the statement read.
“We are deeply concerned that at local level informal workers are facing a glaring criminalisation of their sector, municipal law enforcement agents are unleashed to conduct violent raids that have maimed vendors and left trails of destruction. Their goods continue to be confiscated and disappear on their way to storage facilities.”
STREET vendors are turning to cash dealing as the search of the elusive United States dollar continues to intensify, amid growing shortages.
Vendors are now aiming at selling a higher quantity of goods at a cheaper price especially chocolate bars and small packets of chips.
For example, Pascal chocolate bars are being sold for $1 for four against the market price of $0,50 each. A small packet of chips is being sold at $1 for three against a market price of $0,50 per packet.
After the vendor receives the cash in United States dollars they sell it in exchange for bond notes and use it to buy a higher quantity of their goods. If the cash comes in bond notes, they buy dollars and sell it at a higher mark-up to cover the loss made on their product while also including their profit margin.
Selling cash comes with a 20% to 30% mark-up.
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