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Urban Food: An Examination of the Policy and Legislative Framework

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Part of the Advances in 21st Century Human Settlements book series (ACHS)

Abstract

Laws are some of the most important and effective instruments used by governments to regulate different areas of citizens’ lives. They are powerful because there are consequences associated with breaking laws. The intention of legislation is to create societies where all people are compelled to do what is good. The assumption inherent in legislation is that ‘laws serve the common good’. This however, is not always the case in reality. There are good and bad laws. This chapter analyses Zimbabwe’s regulatory framework to assess its impact of the urban food system. The data was collected by reviewing the relevant laws, by-laws, policies and plans used in the regulation of the urban food system. The examination reveals that most Zimbabwean laws are very old and have not been regularly reviewed to reflect contemporary challenges and the socio-economic reality. They are not responsive and cannot respond to pandemics, such as the COVID-19. They have not been adapted to meet the objectives of the New Urban Agenda (NUA). Some of the most frequently used laws were enacted for a different era and no longer effectively serve under the current circumstances. The study also reveals that the laws are negative and aim to control and stop rather than facilitate innovation and encourage compliance. It concludes that Zimbabwean authorities must consider a new innovative people-centred approach to enacting legislation to govern livelihoods in general and the food system in particular.

Keywords

  • Regulation
  • Management
  • Food markets
  • Compliance
  • Hygiene
  • Policy environment

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The author attended the 2018 Annual School of the Zimbabwe Institute of Regional and Urban Planners where there was overwhelming consensus amongst planners that this paragraph of the Act summarizes the objective of the profession of Urban Planning in Zimbabwe.

  2. 2.

    Interview with a Harare City Planning official. The official indicated that the only way to stop vendors was tightening the by-laws and employing more staff responsible for monitoring vendors and arresting them.

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Toriro, P. (2021). Urban Food: An Examination of the Policy and Legislative Framework. In: Toriro, P., Chirisa, I. (eds) Environmental Resilience. Advances in 21st Century Human Settlements. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-0305-1_3

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