Zimbabwe: Cops in Running Battles With Illegal Vendors

Municipal Reporter

There were chaotic scenes at Mupedzanhamo area and Mbare Musika in Harare yesterday as illegal vendors spent the better part of the day engaging in running battles with law enforcement agents.

Vendors could be seen at their former vending sites which were recently demolished as they remained defiant and continued operating from open spaces.

The majority of traders used to ply their trade directly opposite Mupedzanhamo market and had moved away from the roadside and were operating around nearby flats.

Only a handful of vendors were still displaying their goods on roadsides with some devising new ways of selling.

During police raids motorists were having a torrid time around Mupedzanhamo as the vendors were running all over the place, including on roads.

There was a similar situation at Mbare Musika area where vendors were also observed engaging in running battles with police officers.

Some were arrested and had goods their confiscated.

Government and council have reiterated that the operation to restore sanity in the capital will continue if Harare is to achieve world class city status.

Harare Provincial Development Coordinator Mr Tafadzwa Muguti said the Government would not allow people in the province to continue disregarding the law.

"We can't develop a provincial economy with lawlessness," he said.

Mr Muguti also warned defiant traders that under Government's watch, the council would never regularise operations on road servitudes.

Urban planning expert Engineer Bernard Musarurwa also slammed council officials for allowing illegal construction of structures which they would later demolish.

"That is a very painful experience for the victims. The authorities need to avail sufficient vending facilities at attractive sites to meet the demand of the vendors," he said.

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