The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) has castigated the proposed demolition of illegal tuck shops in Harare saying the proposal is a war against livelihoods.
Harare City Council recently ordered all illegal tuck-shop owners across the City of Harare to cease all operations before the 18th of February 2021.
In a statement, CHRA said the proposal is a war against means of support that aims to deprive already suffering citizens.
"The Combined Harare Residents Association condemns the intention by Harare City Council to demolish tuck-shops at a time when the Zimbabwean economy is in dire straits and heavily informalized due to lack of employment.
"The proposed demolitions are a clear war against livelihoods and aiming at further impoverishing the already suffering Harare residents especially this COVID period. We are worried by the continued failure by the City of Harare to recognize the informal sector as a potential revenue stream and contributor to the local authority budget," read the statement
The resident association accused the local authority of taking advantage of the civic societies thereby making irrational decisions that have a terrible outcome on the poor.
"CHRA is opposed to the autocratic tendencies that have been adopted by the local authority since the emergence of COVID 19 of issuing orders. It is disappointing that the local authority has taken advantage of the closing civic space there by unilaterally making outrage and unreasonable decisions which have dire consequences on poor residents.
"It is very unfortunate that these so-called demolitions seem to have other motives beyond "development control", as it targets high density areas where the urban poor reside. CHRA appreciates the intention of the City to bring order and sanity on market stalls and tuck-shops but condemns the process of how the City intends to "control development" by issuing orders without broader consultations and engagement." said CHRA
CHRA recommended that "The City of Harare must shelve the demolitions, engage players in the informal sector and the "illegal" tuck-shop owners to come up with an inclusive solution to the problem.
"The City of Harare must expedite and complete the process of coming up with its own master plan since the currently used Master Plan was last reviewed and updated in 1993, and the reviewed Master Plan must integrate the informal economy activities. Depoliticization of the informal sector that has been seriously affected by partisan politics and used as a tool for partisan political mobilization."
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC)Harare City Council