A Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front legislator Lillian Zemura says there would be no need for the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM), a programme aimed at assisting desperate children to go to school, if people were allowed to work for themselves.
Contributing to the debate on the harassment of women vendors, Zemura said most people had gone to school using proceeds from vending. It was therefore quite important that vending was recognised as a business with the vendors being registered and licensed so that they could pay tax.
It was also important to provide vendors with facilities like toilets, rest rooms and even places for them to sleep when they brought their produce from rural areas.
There was an outcry at the beginning of this year when the government could not get funding for the BEAM programme. Reports said as many as 750 000 children would be forced out of school.
“If we have our own things and we are busy, we will not be looking at each other spitefully. If you have your own things, you will not mind the next person’s business. So, if we grow our economy, we will not have any problems. We can be well off and our children will not be in trouble.
“Even the BEAM programme will be cancelled because there will not be anyone needing that kind of assistance. Even our social welfare will not be assisting anyone since everyone will be working for themselves. So, let us support them so that they can work for themselves,” Zemura said.
*MRS. ZEMURA: Thank you Madam Speaker for according me this opportunity to support this motion which has been raised by Hon. Nyamupinga and seconded by Hon. Matibenga.
Looking at the women vendors, it is a very sensitive issue because most of us grew up knowing that if you become a teacher, you will earn a living but our mothers sent us to school using proceeds from vending. Most of us here went to school through vending; hence we should support this motion fully in terms of the assault that women are suffering in the streets.
If people knew that running a market place is something which does not require training, some of us did entrepreneurship through the proceeds of vending. We are a proud nation through vending. Looking at Mashonaland East, with the market gardening that they do, producing onions, tomatoes and bringing those products to Harare, they are doing a very splendid job. However, if we look at their entry points into Harare and where they sleep at Mbare Post Office, if you go there around 12 o’clock midnight, you will not find a place to step on. Even whilst they are asleep like that, the municipal police who must protect them whilst asleep, will awaken them so that they pay.
When I was coming from Masvingo, I passed through Mbare and I met a woman who was running away because she did not have the money to pay. Our women are being abused. As legislators, we should go and check where they sleep. The Government should construct them a building for them to sleep in so that they will have good facilities to use when they come with their produce.
This winter, they will sleep in the open and have to pay for that as well. We should engage the municipality for it to plan properly. Councillors should build ablution blocks, there are no toilets there. Even if a man passes by whilst a woman is helping herself, no one cares because there are no toilets and everybody is aware that there are no toilets. So, this is what is happening at our markets but these are the people who are handling food that is being consumed by almost everyone in this country.
We should have markets which have ablution blocks; even resting rooms should be included so that people can somewhere to rest in. People used to build railways waiting rooms, what about those people who are bringing food to us? Just imagine a bundle of vegetables coming from Goromonzi, selling at 50 cents each but we do not care for those people.
However, we are thankful that their children are going to school. These people who are engaging in horticulture and agriculture, if they work hard, then ZIM ASSET will be achieved. So, we should support them. We should engage the councillors so that they can build proper places for them to engage their businesses. ZIM ASSET starts with an individual. Those who are vending are really troubled. They do not have anywhere to report to because they want to sell their wares and go home.
So, those who have moved this motion they are very important because if you want to uplift the lives of our people, you must look into these issues. If we have our own things and we are busy, we will not be looking at each other spitefully. If you have your own things, you will not mind the next person’s business. So, if we grow our economy, we will not have any problems. We can be well off and our children will not be in trouble.
Even the BEAM programme will be cancelled because there will not be anyone needing that kind of assistance. Even our social welfare will not be assisting anyone since everyone will be working for themselves. So, let us support them so that they can work for themselves. Even those Provincial Ministers should look at the places that women are using as market places. Wherever you go, women want to work and we would like vending to be a business that is registered and licensed and can also be taxed monthly because they will be doing their business in well built facilities. I thank you Madam Speaker.