The Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (Viset) has condemned recent utterances by President Robert Mugabe to the effect that vendors should be cleared off the streets.
Addressing members of the Zanu PF youth league national assembly from all the 10 provinces of the country at the party's headquarters in Harare on October 7, President Mugabe spoke against the deplorable state of the capital and said government must move with speed to move vendors off undesignated selling points.
The statements almost immediately saw vendors being driven off the streets of many towns by a combination of municipal and riot police.
In response, Viset described the move as irrational and inhuman, arguing that it ran contrary to the national constitutional objective which obliges the State and all its agencies to promote private initiatives of self-reliance.
This also comes as Mugabe has failed to create the 2.2 million jobs he promised in the run-up to the 2013 elections.
"We are in the streets not because we want but your administration's Machiavellian macro-economic policies have brought us to this stage.
"The right to human dignity, right to food and right to life cannot be realised if people are denied opportunities to earn livelihoods," Viset said in a statement.
Viset also challenged City of Harare to take full responsibility for its failure to provide adequate designated sites for vendors.
The organisation said the forceful eviction of informal traders will not solve the current vending morass for as long as the evictions are not met with equal provision of proper sites for informal traders to do their work.
The move to drive vendors off the streets was also condemned by other organisations like the National Vendors Union Zimbabwe (Navuz).local