Tuesday, 5 December 2017

VENDORS REMOVAL FAILS

The clampdown against vendors that was supposed to start yesterday under “Operation Restore Legacy” seemed to have failed to kick off as they continued parading their wares on pavements in the Central Business District (CBD).

Harare City Council(HCC), Zimbabwe Republic Police and the army had jointly warned vendors over the weekend that they should voluntarily move to designated sites or risk having their wares confiscated and pushcarts destroyed.

Former president Robert Mugabe had initiated the blitz that had cleared the streets after noticing the chaotic way vendors, pushcarts and mushika-shika had taken over the city centre. The police had also cleared the streets of money-changers.

But after the military takeover, the vendors and money-changers trooped back to the CBD.
When the Daily News moved around the CBD yesterday during the day, vendors were still illegally spreading their wares on the pavements in their numbers.

Curiously, there were no municipal or ZRP officers or members of the army in sight and no vehicles carrying the enforcement were in the city centre.

HCC spokesperson Michael Chideme could not confirm or deny that they had started the operation although on Sunday he had said the operation would begin yesterday.

Instead, he said they were trying to figure out a smooth relocation of vendors to their sites.
“Our aim is to make the relocation as smooth as possible. The informal sector has been educated on the need to relocate and resume their legally allocated trading spots,” he said.

Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (Viset) director Samuel Wadzai told the Daily News that the move is irrational as it is contrary to the Constitution which obligates the State to promote private initiatives for self-reliance.
Wadzai said making vendors move away from the CBD will not solve the problem but will only make it worse as seen after the failed 2015 operation.

“The new Government of Zimbabwe and council should do an assessment in respect of the consequences on the livelihoods of people and their dependents the evictions will cause. As Viset, we will also engage the authorities with a view to finding a more human alternative to the intended evictions but in the event that such does not yield any positive results, we will approach the courts,” Wadzai said. Daily News

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