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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Vendors petition GCC over Kudzanayi bays

By Martin Mawaya

Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) has handed over a petition to the City of Gweru and Bentach Resources company seeking to reverse the exorbitant prices for bays at the Kudzanai market.
Bentach Resources company which is managing the Kudzanai bus terminus and vending markets is charging fruit and vegetable bays for US$15, clothing US$18, and hardware US$28 per week respectively.

In a petition dated April 20th, 2022 addressed to the council and Bentach Resources, VISET demanded the review of charges saying the current figures are too exorbitant and is against the local authority’s poverty alleviation program in the communities. The document also puts forward a litany of demands informal traders feel the council and Bentach Resources must meet in order to develop the sector and promote growth.

“We are convinced that the vendors at Kudzanai Rank are suffering as a result of the exorbitant rentals being charged by Bentach Resources Private Limited on behalf of the City of Gweru,” reads part of the petition.
“We implore that the City of Gweru and Bentach Resources Private Limited convene a meeting with the petitioner and representatives of the vendors’ association within 7 days and review the charges. We suggest that fruits and vegetables must be US$1, clothes US$3 and hardware US$5 per week respectively.

Samuel Wadzai Mangoma VISET Director.

“Further note that, we are against the arbitrary evictions of tenants for late payment of rentals without inquiries or giving vendors the right to be heard. Vendors are being evicted from Kudzanai Rank for late payment of rentals of even one day and there are being replaced. As a result, many vendors have been evicted and now resorting to selling their wares in the streets,”.

They noted that the vendors who “wish to make payments in local currency are being charged at a black market rate”.
The vendors’ association also pointed out that the “vendors must be given 7 days notice to pay off their dues and only be evicted after failing to pay their rentals due within 30 days”.

Among other demands, VISET also wants the council and Bentach Resources company to compensate for all the losses arising from the theft of goods at night as well as scraping the toilets fees.

“ A majority of vendors are women and during their periods may require to visit the toilet on average of every hour for hygiene purposes and cannot afford to pay that much, hence a percentage from the rentals paid must then be allocated to toilets cleaning,” said Samuel Wadzai Mangoma VISET Director.

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