Malawi Union for Informal Sector with its membership and partners joined their friends in the world for the first time celebrating International Street Vendors Day in style under the theme of street vendors are workers with the same right to organisation, representation and social protection as other workers. They marched a distance of one kilometer to present petition to Chief Executive Officer of the City Council of Blantyre while songs were sung louder and clear. The petition was presented to the council and after that the council arranged a place in the Mayor's Chamber where they could hear contains of the petition and it was read by president as follows:
14th November, 2012
The Chief Executive Officer,
Private Bag 67
PETITION TO LOCAL COUNCIL AUTHORITIES ON INTERNATIONAL STREET VENDORS DAY
We refer to the above subject matter. Malawi Union for Informal Sector with its membership and partners all over the world are celebrating the vendors’ day today which markers the 10th anniversary of StreetNet International for the first time. The theme of this year is street vendors are workers with the same right to organisation, representation and social protection as other workers. During this celebration we would like to request your good offices to look and address our issues as follows:
NEEDS AND DEMANDS
We estimated that the whole ceremony would take us 15 to 20 minutes but after hearing the contains of the petition the council officials were moved and it took two and half hours responding one by one and they agreed with our petition and promised that they will invite MUFIS to the meeting where all the items on the petition will be discuss item by item. But immediately that said that they will stop confiscating good from vendors, vendors will always be consulted through MUFIS structures, accepted that the bye laws should be amended, they will talk to banking institutions to provide loans for economic empowerment and clean the rivers passing through markets. Council official thought there could be violence during presentation. MUFIS thanked City Council officials for accepting to receive the petition and asked them to facilitate the meeting urgently. The positive responses by the council were more than expectation of MUFIS membership. The function was covered by more media especial radios because the function was widely covered by them
REPORT BY Mwanda Chiwambala
StreetNet International is an alliance of street vendors. It was launched in Durban, South Africa, in November 2002.
Membership-based organizations (unions, co-operatives or associations) directly organizing street vendors, market vendors and/or hawkers among their members, are entitled to affiliate to StreetNet International.
The aim of StreetNet is to promote the exchange of information and ideas on critical issues facing street vendors, market vendors and hawkers (i.e. mobile vendors) and on practical organizing and advocacy strategies