We the members of the Harare Metropolitan Residents Forum (HAMREF) held a Convention attended by 200 of our ward leaders, various government ministries, Mayors, Councillors and Council bureaucrats in 6 local authorities, vendor associations and other technical partners to consider emerging socio-political issues of the informal economy and service delivery, land management issues and water as well as legislative reform areas in the local government sector.
1. We acknowledge the support of the Mayor of Harare, Councillor Ben Manyenyeni as Chairperson elect of the Harare Metropolitan Provincial Council in our efforts to advocate for improvements in Service delivery in the Harare Metropolitan Province.
2. We recognise the work already done by our strategic partners on some of these critical issues, in particular, the National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (NAVUZ) and the Zimbabwe Informal Sector Organisation (ZISO).
3. Having met with various government ministries, departments and local authorities we resolve as follows;
a. On the Informal Economy and Vending:
• We demand that the government halt the forced evictions of vendors and develop a tripartite negotiating forum including the government, business community and vendor representatives to chart a lasting solution.
• We demand that the government relook into the registration of vendors and develop mechanisms to weed out space barons and party political interference.
• We implore the government to recognize the development role of the Informal Sector and the potential contribution it can make to the economic growth of the country.
• We urge the government to develop programs and strategies that enhance the informal sector, especially, vendors from survivalist to entrepreneurial nature. The programs must explore means to promote and protect the informal sector business.
• We urge the government to attend to the high cost of doing business in Zimbabwe especially with regards the registration of business and taxation.
• Empower and develop the voice of the organized groups of vendors and other sectors of the informal economy.
b. On Water and the Proposed Prepaid Water Meters
• The Convention reiterated the position of the HAMREF that residents in the Harare Metropolitan province are opposed to the roll out Prepaid Water Meters.
• We note the ambivalent position of the Ministry of Water, Environment and Climate, with regards the installation of Prepaid Meters and call for further engagements on this matter.
• We authorize the leadership of HAMREF to approach the courts seeking an order to halt the installation of Pre-paid meters by the City of Harare and other local authorities until conclusive engagements have been finalized and a report produced for public review.
• We implore the leadership of HAMREF to mobilize the masses of Harare Metropolitan province to take a radical program of resistance against the installation of prepaid meters.
c. On Legislative Reform on the local Government Sector
• We demand the production of a clear framework for the speedy and full implementation of Chapter 14 of the constitution that deals with local government.
• We urge the Ministry of Local Government to immediately produce the stakeholders’ consultation report on the Provincial and Metropolitan Councils Bill and the Local Authorities Bill.
• We urge the leadership of HAMREF to approach the courts to demand the full enforcement of the new constitution in particular the devolution of governmental powers.
• We reiterate our commitment to mobilizing citizens to fight and demonstrate against the continued willful violation of the new constitution
• We urge the individual members of HAMREF to engage their local councils in pushing for reform of by laws so that they reflect the socio-economic realities of today.
• The HAMREF leadership is urged to continue mainstreaming women and youths in its programming and do everything within its capacities to come up with programs and activities that specifically targets women and youths.
d. On Land Management and Housing
• The HAMREF leadership should convene a Land and Housing Indaba with stakeholders to discuss the emerging land and housing issues including land grabs in urban and peri-urban areas, illegal settlements and the intentions of government to destroy illegal structures within urban areas.
A detailed report of the conference proceedings, discussions and resolutions will be made available within one week at the HAMREF offices and circulated to partners.
Simbarashe Moyo, Chairperson- HAMREF 0772 864 572
Marvellous Kumalo, Spokesperson- HAMREF 0776 191 402
c/o Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
12 Oxford Avenue, Newlands