HARARE municipal police yesterday attempted to remove vendors from the streets, but failed after meeting stiff resistance from the informal traders.
The police tried to remove vendors from the Copacabana market and several other illegal sites, but were told off by a group of traders.
In the morning, truckloads of municipal police went around the central business district (CBD) asking vendors to move to designated places, but their calls fell on deaf ears as the hawkers went on with their usual business.
National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe national director Samuel Wadzai said space barons were telling vendors to leave the CBD, but there was great resistance.
“What we are saying is the City of Harare should lead the process, not the space barons,” Wadzai said.
Promise Mkwananzi of the Zimbabwe Informal Traders’ Organisation said vendors were insisting that the government should fix the economy first before removing them.
Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said he was yet to get information about the situation on the ground.
“Allow me to say that I will engage with my new minister (Saviour Kasukuwere) to share with him the issue of concern to many, the issue of vendors,” he said.
“I would like to commend the team including (town clerk) Tendai Mahachi; I will want to avoid politicising the issue. We need a clean city. We don’t need vendors on pavements and they also don’t want to be on pavements. Let’s allow professionals to handle the issue.”
Kasukuwere, the new Local Government minister, told NewsDay yesterday that he was still to settle in his new role before he could comment on the issue of vendors.
Ignatius Chombo, who is now Home Affairs minister, was not picking up his calls on how the Zimbabwe Republic Police would deal with vendors.