GWERU – The Vendors Initiative for Social Economic Transformation (Viset) last week engaged the Midlands informal traders as part of efforts to equip the sector on constitutionalism.
Viset Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) officer Edward Kapodogo told participants that it was important for them to know their rights as well as strategies that are effective in holding office bearers to account.
"We are engaging you because we have many initiatives targeted at empowering vendors and capacitating our informal sector. We are also here to unpack the constitution because we realised that many informal traders don't really know much about their constitution and their constitutional rights.
He said it was imperative for vendors to hold government and office bearers to account through various ways when they feel their rights are getting violated.
"We are spearheading the Informal Traders Accountability Agenda (ITAA) to help vendors so that they operate to help amplify the voice of informal traders as they face a number of challenges which remain unattended to," said Kapodogo.
He said the informal sector was a key enabler of the economy and it was therefore prudent for vendors to be organised and speak with one voice.
"As vendors you must know you have a set of rights which are enshrined in the constitution to protect you. It is imperative that you know what's happening in your localities and country.
“If we are not united, we are not able to advocate for the issues we want to be addressed. We know that Covid-19 came and government set aside a cushioning fund for people and businesses but we did not access the money because we are not united and did not speak with one voice.
Viset Information and Publicity officer Jabulani Chikomwe said the informal sector must learn new skills and acquire new knowledge for the sake of growth.
Viset Gweru coordinator and vendors representative, Rumbidzai Dube also called for unity and urged participants to go and capacitate others with the knowledge gained.