Vendors Initiative for Social Economic Transformation (VISET) recently facilitated the launch of Support People’s Budget Campaign (SPBC) in partnership with Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) with the aim to strengthen citizen agency among women and youth informal traders as well as fostering dialogue in pursuit of their community development’s needs.
The SPBC launched in Harare on November 10, 2021 and was attended by Socio-Economic Champions (SOCHAMPS), representatives from residents associations, students, graduate street vendors, urban planners and gender activists based in Harare, Chitungwiza and Goromonzi.
VISET Executive Director Samuel Wadzai said it was a platform for informal traders to share their ideas on what should be included in the budget and coming up with a monitoring framework.
“Basically it was a platform for informal traders to share their ideas on what should be included in the budget.
“We are going to come up with a monitoring frame work on the implementation of whatever is going to be presented as the budget, to see if it is going to be done in the manner in which it would have been presented, so that we are able to question and hold them accountable,” said Wadzai.
ZIMCODD Programmes Manager John Maketo said the campaign is strategic for people in informal sector since they are the majority and contribute 70 percent of the total population so their needs have to be addressed by national budget.
“The campaign is very strategic to people in the informal sector since they contribute 70 percent of the total population and we have over 80 percent unemployment rate in the country. The national budget must have specific protection mechanisms so that informal traders are not criminalised, giving reference to Covid-19 induced lockdowns where they were condemned to poverty, hunger and their children could not go to school.
“We are still living with the Covid-19 hence the budget must respond to emergencies such as natural disasters, climate change induced disasters, so informal traders should be prioritized because they do not have pensions, insurances and medical aid support or savings as they live from hand to mouth,” said Maketo.
ZIMCODD has been involved in the fight against corruption in Zimbabwe both at national and regional level from the broader perspective of illicit financial flows with corruption being cited as both a source and a facilitator of such flows from Africa and Zimbabwe in particular.