2 March 2018

Zimbabwe: Harare Now a Jungle, Says VP Mohadi

Vice President Kembo Mohadi yesterday said there is an urgent need for Government intervention in restoring order in Harare, saying the capital city was now a jungle not worth its status.

Illegal vending, pirate taxis, touting and other vices are the order of the day in the city, once referred to as the Sunshine City.

Addressing a stakeholders' consultative meeting in Harare, VP Mohadi said there was need to upgrade dilapidated infrastructure in the central business district (CBD).

"Harare has become a menace with disorderly vendors, pirate taxis and more importantly dilapidated infrastructure," he said.

"I do not think this is the kind of the capital city we all want. There is a lot of chaos in the city.

"I am grateful to see Government and civil society collaborating to this very important task to restore the City of Harare's sunshine status. I should say this meeting was long overdue."

The meeting was attended by stakeholders from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, City of Harare officials, transport industry representatives and the business community.

VP Mohadi urged Zimbabweans across the political divide to work together for the revitalisation of Harare.

"Harare is not the capital city of Zanu-PF or MDC," he said. "It is the capital city of Zimbabwe. I am very alive to the political contestations characterising local governance.

"However, at this point we should set aside our political differences and focus on restoring Harare, a task which is in the country's best interests.

"There is no Zanu-PF or MDC or other parties. We are not going to discuss or deliberate this based on political affiliations. We are talking about our capital city of Zimbabwe."

VP Mohadi said a model plan for Harare, which is currently being looked at, would be replicated in all the cities across the country.

"We are not going to deal with Harare and forget other urban cities," he said. "Cities such as Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo, and Gweru are also in the same category.

"As we deliberate on how to restore Harare, let us not lose sight of the fact that we are setting a good precedence to other local authorities across the country. It is a precedence they will definitely replicate in their respective areas of jurisdiction as cities."

The remarks by VP Mohadi comes a fortnight after police shot and killed two people in the CBD as they tried to enforce order by barring commuter omnibuses from picking passengers at illegal points.

The city council has been battling to remove illegal vendors and pirate taxis from the Central Business District without any success.

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