Zimbabwe: Vendors' Raids Not Crackdown - Police

13 August 2020

Police and municipal police have vowed to continue pouncing on vendors illegally operating in Central Business District of Harare, urging the informal traders to utilize designated places for their business.

In an interview with a local publication, Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said the operation to remove vendors must not be viewed as a crackdown.

"It was made clear by the government that for vendors to operate during this national lockdown period they should be registered and should have permits authorizing them to conduct business lawfully. Some have a tendency to blame the police on everything, even those operating outside the confines of the law," said Nyathi.

"The law is clear that they should be licensed and our duty is to enforce the law. Our message is clear, people should operate lawfully and they will not have any problems with law enforcement officers," added Nyathi

This comes after a public outcry from vendors who believe they are being targeted for harassment by security agencies.

Nyathi said vendors are expected to operate within the confines of the law to avoid friction with law enforcement agencies.

Harare City Council spokesperson, Michael Chideme discouraging people against construing their normal policing duties with a crackdown.

"These are normal council policing duties and they should not be confused as suppression. When vendors flood shopping centers people complain that the council has neglected its policing duties and when we execute our duties, they complain again," said Chideme.

He urged those with complaints against municipal officials to report them to council for investigations.

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