Vendors who have been 48 hours to leave the streets of Harare say they will fight back.

The vendors said they were angered by the pronouncement by Local Government minister July Moyo that government would use the military to eject them from the streets and vowed to resist whatever force government would employ.

National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe leader Sten Zvorwadza said vendors were in the streets not by choice and would only leave the streets if government provided them with the jobs it promised.

“The attempt by the government to deploy security forces to fight unarmed street vendors is not only reckless, but is tantamount to planting genocide against the needy and the poor,” Zvorwadza said.

“What government needs to understand is that they created the so-called illegal traders and for the government to act brutally would be unfair”.

Zvorwadza said the government was talking about turning around the economy but was chasing the vendors from the streets when they had been the bedrock of the economy.

He said vendors should be given a 100-day plan to work on their future instead of being given a 48-hour ultimatum by the same people who had created them.

“We are disturbed the government makes such an announcement without consulting the traders who are affected,” he said. “If this government is a military state, it is prudent for the government to make it clear so that Zimbabweans can run away for dear life.

“The pronouncement by government to declare war on informal traders who are sustaining this economy is not democratic,” Zvorwadza said.