Byo vendors dispute city council claims

BULAWAYO - Following a number of reports about health concerns by the City Council in Bulawayo, blaming street vendors for untidiness in the city, tables have turned since vendors are now holding the authorities responsible.

This emerged after the city fathers stated that the increase in vendors has affected the council’s operations as there is a shortage in sanitary facilities, resulting in improper waste disposal which may lead to outbreak of diseases such as cholera.

Bongiwe Ngwenya, a public relations officer for the Bulawayo City Council said vending has resulted in littering which pollutes the environment.

Daily News on Sunday crew took to the streets of Bulawayo yesterday and interviewed vendors who expressed how the authorities neglect them.

Saidi Ali, a fruit and vegetable vendor along Lobengula Street, said the City Council removed the garbage bins that were placed in most parts of the town and currently there is nowhere for vendors to  dump litter.

“It is amazing how the council blames us every time for the waste that is found all over the city yet there are the ones who came and removed the dust bins. It was better before we knew there was a place where we could dump litter but now we are totally justified to argue and say they don’t do their work properly,” Ali said.

He said he admits that they are selling their goods illegally but every time there is allocation of stands they are shut out.

“If they could give everyone stands without favour then there will be order in town because we want to survive too and support our families.

We have developed a thick skin and their chorus of us polluting the city and if they don’t want that then they should provide more trash bins and selling stands.”

Brighton Tsakira, a book vendor said they clean their work spots daily in the morning and afternoon and council was wrongly accusing them of the garbage pile up.

“The first I thing I do when I get here in the morning is to sweep around the area I sell my books and so are my colleagues. The council should stop accusing us vendors as if we are the only ones selling here in Bulawayo. There are shops all over town, they sell stuff too and people buy there so they just throw away the litter everywhere because there are few bins in the city,” Tsakira said.

Matilda Tshuma, a vegetable vendor, said municipal police officers should be spreading the message to responsible branches to put in place more sanitary measures instead of chasing vendors.

“Municipal police are very good at chasing after vendors the whole day and never get tired of it instead of addressing the key issues of lack of selling stands and providing trash bins.

“ZRP does not chase us but municipal officers are inconsiderate, sometimes they are the reason why our goods get scattered all over the ground,” Tshuma said.

Nanile Khumalo said it is not true that they cause pollution in town because they have to walk two streets away to get a bin so that they avoid to litter.

“Maybe the council enjoys seeing the city dirty because how can they not upgrade sanitary measures and most of all remove litter bins?

“Council workers used to complain that we fill bins a lot and it gives them additional work and I believe they are the ones who caused all the changes,” Khumalo said.

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