Chitungwiza Vendors Demand Justice Amidst Harassment and Arrests in Harare CBD

By Lloyd Takawira

Harare, Zimbabwe — The Chitungwiza Amalgamated Vendors and Informal Traders Association (CAVITA) has raised its voice against the recent surge in arrests and harassment faced by vendors operating in Harare’s Central Business District (CBD).

In a press statement released today, CAVITA expressed deep concern for the well-being and safety of its members, the majority of whom hail from Chitungwiza and rely on informal trade for their livelihoods.

The central business district has over the past few days witnessed running battles between law enforcement agencies and vendors, with viral social media videos capturing scenes of police officers forcibly removing vendors from their stalls, confiscating goods, and subjecting them to intimidation.

CAVITA’s press statement calls for urgent intervention by relevant authorities. The association demands a thorough investigation into these incidents, emphasizing that vendors have a right to engage in lawful trade without fear of harassment or unjust treatment. The livelihoods of countless families depend on these small businesses, and any disruption threatens the delicate balance of survival.

“We stand in solidarity with all vendors affected by these challenges,” said Tawanda, a basket weaver who operates near the iconic First Street Mall. “Our stalls are not just places of commerce; they are our dreams, our resilience. We won’t be silenced.”

CAVITA’s Information Desk says it encourages dialogue and collaboration between vendors, local authorities, and law enforcement agencies. By working together, they believe solutions can be found that protect the dignity and well-being of all traders in the community.

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