Buhera South Member of Parliament Joseph Chinotimba this week said companies in Zimbabwe would not close down if he were Minister of Industry and Commerce because we were destroying our own industry.
“Tine maminsters edu akadzidza kupinda vanaChinotimba asi vanokonewa. Deno ndangandirini minister weIndustry otherwise dzimwe nguri industry ingadai isina kufa nokuti tinouraya industry pachedu. Ikozvino tine makambani akavhara,” he said.
Contributing to the debate on harassment of women vendors, Chinotimba said he did not support the harassment of vendors but he could not condemn the police for doing their job.
“..Some things which are now happening are outrageous. It is true that people are arrested, but we have ministers who are more learned than Hon. Chinotimba, who are unable to say and if only I was the Minister of Industry and Commerce, I think the Industry would not have been extinct. We destroy our own industry,” he said.
Chinotimba said vendors should occupy empty factories and sell their goods from there instead of selling them outside big retail shops which paid tax.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to support the mover of the motion. I would also like to disagree a little bit on other issues which were being debated here. However, I would really like to agree that those who are vending in town should be treated with dignity. At one point I talked about this issue Madam Speaker, saying that some things which are now happening are outrageous. It is true that people are arrested, but we have ministers who are more learned than Hon. Chinotimba, who are unable to say and if only I was the Minister of Industry and Commerce, I think the Industry would not have been extinct. We destroy our own industry.
Madam Speaker, we have companies which have closed down, some people are spending money unnecessarily within those companies alleging that the Government is no longer capable. These people are on other governments’ payroll and are on a mission to close companies. We are saying that our people, the vendors – [AN HON MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] –
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. member, can you please behave yourself.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: We are saying the vendors who are selling and are being arrested while others are physically abused, should be given the companies of those people who left so that they also operate from those areas. This will avoid the abuses of being handled without dignity. We are looking for areas where people can sell their wares without any form of difficulties. The Central Business District (CBD) no longer has viable places for vendors who sell belts. The vendors in town are selling belts, shoes and any other item they may think of. We are saying…
MR. MARIDADI: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
MR. MARIDADI: The point of order Madam Speaker is that, Hon. Chinotimba walked into this House after the motion had been moved and seconded. I think he is debating at a tangent and is trivializing this very important motion, which is very unfair to this hon. House.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Hon. Chinotimba, endererai mberi nedebate renyu.
*MR. CHINOTIMBA: Madam Speaker, I am talking about an issue of the municipal police who are arresting people who are struggling to make a living. What I am trying to say is that surely, we cannot stop the police from doing their work. When we look at these vendors, they are selling their wares at the entrance to OK Stores, at the end of the day, we demand tax from OK Stores and Bata. These women and men are selling the same goods that the owner of the shop is selling. However, at the end of the day, the Government will collect tax so that as legislators we will be able to earn our monthly salaries and cars from the taxes that Bata Company has to pay. But these vendors are just selling and pocketing all their money and not being taxed.
What I am saying is that assaulting these people sexually is not good. Can we just look at our economy going down; the industrialists have left and goods are being sold right in front of OK Stores. So, let us create places where these vendors can operate from, we can also take those companies which have been closed and give them to these people so that they can make their wares and sell them from there. What stops us from taking those companies of the people who run away and give them to our women so that they can utilise them? We really want to support the women and even the men because it is not only women but men also are involved in vending, even the youth without political affiliation. There are so many companies which are empty, even if we look in Bulawayo, there are also closed companies but these women are vending shoes in the streets. So, we should take these women into those closed shops and we give them things to do. The youths should also get assistance to do their business in proper places.
Other hon. members might think that I was not around but I was in one of these offices here where there are also speakers, so I managed to listen to the debates that were going on in this House. I really want to help our country so that our economy will grow but at the same time, I cannot say the police are on the wrong side. So, I think they should go ahead and prosecute people who are not adhering to the city laws. Thank you.