Sunday, 13 November 2016

MASVINGO RAIDS NIGHT VENDORS

MASVINGO City Council has started raiding illegal vendors operating in the Central Business District (CBD) at night as part of efforts to restore sanity in the city centre.

Sunday News observed municipal police officers raiding vendors at night and confiscating their wares on a number of days last week. The vendors had devised methods to avoid raids which the council had been conducting during the day by selling their goods after hours when municipal officers had knocked off.

Most of the vendors raided were operating from the pavements of major retail shops. Masvingo mayor Councillor Hubert Fidze said the move to raid vendors was routine to ensure that the city is kept clean and all businesses are operating legally.

“Of late there has been re-invasion of CBD by vendors and municipal police are using all strategies to get rid of them. I am not surprised to hear that some illegal vendors are raided at night although it is not part of council policy. Our security department is trying everything possible to manage the situation,” said Clr Fidze.He said despite the Government directive last year to compel all vendors to move out of the CBDs, the vendors were defiant and were disturbing those who are legally operating. Last year, city councils were ordered to identify areas where the vendors could operate from.

“Illegal vendors are just adamant because there has been a directive and we also have by-laws that discourage vending in the CBD unless one has a licence and operating from a designated area. Government, last year gave a directive for all local authorities to move vendors from city centres but hardly a year after the directive, they are back,” he said.

Clr Fidze said leaders of associations that represent vendors must also co-operate with council through educating their members on the need to operate at law.

Masvingo Residents and Ratepayers Alliance spokesperson Mr Godfrey Mutimba said while he appreciates the plight of vendors in light of obtaining economic challenges, vendors must also follow council by-laws when conducting their businesses. Sunday news

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