Some are physically challenged, some are widowed , some are HIV positive and some are homeless . The women vendors in Harare have suffered a lot in the hands of ruthless municipal police and state police who have cruelly abused their power to the extent that is questionable and the victims are the women vendors in the city centre and other satellite towns. While Zimbabwe is reeling in abject poverty and rampant unemployment. Most males educated and uneducated are out of traditional employment and worse goes to the women.
Article by Mbizo Chirasha
Many of them have lost homes due to massive demolitions by government and lost some parts of their bodies due to political violence as much as they lost their work and reputation due to the economic meltdown in the country . Now they are losing their wares , dignity and reputation as well as money to the state authorities who raid them every day of God and make them regret their poverty and the plight of the education of their children. Most of these women are coerced into sex because they would not have money to bribe the municipals and they need to continue doing what make them and families mostly children survive. The municipal also take large sums of money from the these materially poor women and some are butchered and tear gased despite the fact that they are physically challenged and they need and deserve a decent lives like anyone else. Women are really under threat in Zimbabwe, mostly poor women. They need feed their children, proper health care and also good and reputable shelter but alas also this is in vain due to the disturbances caused by the police state . Perpetrators of women vendors abuse are men and most of them have gone to school through vending and today they are ruthlessly crushing the hopes of the same mothers and grandmothers who are fending for many lives. In a country that purport to promote indigenisation and empowerment of women , measures should be put in place to realise the dignity of mothers , sisters , grandmothers and young girls . Life has gone tough that small entrepreneurs mostly have to be supported and women organisations must come out to support and carry the burden with women vendors who have since been subjected to HIV/AIDS through forced sex by these ruthless mongers , are also subjected to abject poverty and desperation especially when their goods are dispossessed from them . Some are victimised for their political party affiliations and such deserves no forgiveness for those enforcing the raids. They are lot of women pressure groups in Zimbabwe, nowadays they are very silent especially on issues that concern this special grassroots groups of our society . We have a governmental ministry in this country that should be able to assist the plight of our vulnerable gender race that has been taken for granted and abused for a long time. Its time women vendors themselves rise up and say enough is enough . Furthermore these women despite paying large sums of municipal money they are not provided with proper sanitation facilities like clean water and best ablution . So many infections and diseases are an order of the day. Women should speak with one voice and should rise for the best change. Change is healthy and change is powerful.