MDC- T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said informal traders who operate illegally do so not out of mischief but because they are victims of a comatose economy that leaves them with no choice but adopt unorthodox ways of survival.
Addressing journalists in Gweru on Thursday soon after a tour of the local authority’s projects, the former Prime Minister urged municipalities not to engage in running battles with vendors but find ways to accommodate them in their businesses.
“You don’t have to engage in running battles with illegal vendors, you have to persuade them to be organised and operate in an orderly and manageable manner,” Tsvangirai said.
“You can’t chase people away from the city; they come looking for better facilities to earn a living and feed their families.
“We have a rural to urban drift which is natural and these vendors are victims of an economy in malaise and a comatose state.”
The MDC-T president had toured informal traders’ sites in the city centre as well as in the high density suburbs of Mtapa, Mambo, Ascot and Mkoba as well as other projects being undertaken by Gweru City Council.
He said the visit was part of the MDC-T’s monitoring of urban councils it controls to see if they were observing the party’s “social democratic values.”
Tsvangirai, who met residents during the tour, expressed concern at the levels of unemployment particularly among the youths saying it was causing emotional distress among them (youths).
“I spoke to youths and they said they have nothing to do. Surely, today (Thursday) is a working day yet they are roaming the streets doing nothing. Unemployment is a national crisis that needs urgent attention,” the MDC-T leader said.