Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Business Reporter
INFORMAL traders in Mutare have called on the city authorities to come up with sustainable solutions that enable them to contribute productively to the country’s economy.
The traders argued that the national economy was increasingly becoming informal so there should be a way to ensure that informal traders contributed meaningfully to Government coffers.
Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Association (ZCIEA) president Ms Lorraine Sibanda recently said there was need for local authorities to engage the informal economy workers and include their suggestions in policy formulation.
“The informal economy is here and we cannot wish it away. The informal economy workers know what they want for Zimbabwe and they can contribute to the development of the economy. With dialogue, we can then come up with relevant interventions to avoid the cat and mouse games we have been seeing across the country,” she said.
Ms Sibanda said informal traders were willing to work from designated areas as long as the work spaces allocated by local authorities were conducive.
She said her organisation was advocating decent workspaces that were habitable and neatly organised.
“Informal economy is not peculiar to Zimbabwe only, but it depends on how it is handled, on the political will of the leaders to accommodate and also develop the livelihoods of people working in the informal sector.
As informal economy workers, if given space to converse and dialogue, with Government authorities, we have alternatives that we can bring to the table for development,” she added.
Ms Sibanda said the way forward was for the country to have relevant policies, which spoke to the kind of economy pertaining.
“We have a highly informal economy but our policies continue to target the minute formal economy.
“As ZICEA, we are saying there is a way to improve the informal economy so that we do not live in a country that is totally informal.
“We need to have an informal sector that complements the formal economy,” she said.
She said Government needed to ensure that fees paid by vendors to local authorities were properly accounted for to end corruption.
“Government also has to make sure that they have a system, which does not leave loopholes in the collection of revenue. This will enable Government to actually build better market places for the informal sector,” she said.