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1.4 The Emergence of Street Vending in Harare’s Central business District
The Central Business Districts (CBDs) are inundated with vendors stationed at street corners, some stationed at traffic lights, others selling their wares on street pavements and some in parking lots at shopping centres according to Njaya T (2014:74).
The rise of street vending in Harare was precipitated by the rise of the informal sector in Zimbabwe in which all kind of activities were happening and that includes, cross boarder trading, street vending, retail amongst ,many other informal activities, as argued by Mutize P (2016:18). Furthermore, the rise of the informal sector in Zimbabwe was influenced by a series of economic, political and social crisis in the country. This led the formal sector (employment) failing to take in the large numbers of people that needed employment in the formal sector after independence.
1.5 Economic Factors that have led to street vending
ESAP was, adopted as prescriptive solution to the economic crises of the 1980s Zhou and Zvoushe (2012:232). ESAP started in earnest March 1991 after a meeting with aid agencies and the World Bank in Paris. ESAP framework contained the standard features of the World Bank and IMF economic reform strategies. “ESAP in Zimbabwe came because of the lame economy that the new government inherited and the inappropriate economic policies adopted at independence”, according to Makoni R D (2000:221). Munhande and Makaye (2008:34) argued that, the adoption of ESAP in 1991 by the government immensely added to the development of the informal sector. This is so because the development brought about by ESAP led many people to be unemployed because of massive retrenchments while at the same time the formal job sector contracted making conditions for the expansion of the informal sector Makaye and Munhande (2008:35). The shrunk in formal employment drove Zimbabweans to search for survivalist strategies such as street vending in the informal sector. According to Chirau J T (2014:78) by the year 1996, the informal sector utilized 1.56 million individuals whilst the formal sector utilized 1.26 million and work in the formal sector had largely dropped whilst offering a rise to vending and small micro enterprises with a growth.
Zimbabweans in the Harare CBD have resorted to street vending due to the difficulty economic conditions in the country. This has affected men, women and children even those who have jobs are struggling to make ends meet due to the difficulty economic conditions as of the opinion of Mutize P (2016:19). Research has shown it that even professional teachers in the Harare and other big cities have joined into street vending as a means to supplement their income, which is not sufficient to cater for their families. Teachers have begun engaging into vending as part time jobs during their free time for example on weekends. Most teachers, Police and Soldiers just to mention a few formally employed workers now can hardly survive on their monthly salary, as it is no longer enough because of several salary deductions. Some have resorted to vending due to the delays in their receiving salaries, for instance, December 2015 teachers did not receive their bonuses and had their pay dates changed as argued by Mutize P (2016:19). This forced many into street vending as a way to survive, for them vending is a way through which they can supplement their incomes. Therefore, most people have turned to street vending to earn a living as the economy continue to shrink in deflation since 2014 leading to company closures and a lot of job losses.
To add on, the ZIM ASSET and is another economic policy deployed by the ZANU PF led government which were good at paper but very poorly implemented. ( illustrates that, “the birth of ZIM ASSET came from the socio, political and economic atmosphere of the country in the period towards the 2013 harmonized elections”. It also promised empowerment of the youths, rehabilitation of roads, schools, provision of health services to all the citizens, shelter and creation of employment especially for the youths. ZIM ASSET as a policy has been described as a, poorly implemented by economists, politician and academics as they criticize the very foundations of the policy by arguing that it was crafted at a time when political tension was very high and thus there was need to win the support of the electorate in the face of the MDC. According to (, “creating of the policy did not involve the relevant stakeholders such as health service providers, multi-national companies, farmers and the commercial services providers such as financial institutions”. ZIM ASSET is a ZANU PF document that got into government, according to ( ZIM ASSET has led companies to continue closing, inflation continues to declined, and the government threatens retrenching civil servants. This will eventually cause an increase in unemployment rates and increase in poverty especially among the urban peasants as their livelihoods are based on buying of goods and services more likely on a daily bases. The flaw inflicted by the ZIM ASSERT blueprint has led to low standards of living both in the urban and rural peasants respectively resulting in more people participation in the illegal selling of goods and services in Harare’s CBD.
In justifying Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act of 2008 (IEE Act) in Zimbabwe, the government looked back at the injustices of the colonial period and traced the penurious situation of majority of Zimbabweans to some of the racially skewed developments as propounded by Shumba, B M (2014). A glaring legacy of this era was lack of resource control among the indigenous people and this limited the capacity of black people’s participation in the mainstream economy Chowa (2013:2-18). The Indigenisation Policy mainly targeted residents from rural areas, and aims at the improvement of their socio-economic conditions through infrastructure development, small and medium enterprise development, local ownership of natural resources, as well as improving academic standards Matunhu (2012:12-33). However, the IEE ACT did little in empowering the locals as less development, as well as local ownership of the natural resources in the remote areas of Zimbabwe to date. The policy has largely benefited only the elite and politically recognized people within the ruling party ZANU PF. This has led many rural people to rural-urban migration as a result leading to high urban populations leading to the massive rise of vendors in Harare CBD.

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