Chombo wants vendors off the streets

BULAWAYO - Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo (pictured) yesterday pushed for the removal of vendors from the streets with immediate effect arguing they were compromising health standards.

He was addressing mayors and council chairpersons at the 73rd Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) annual general meeting in Bulawayo.

“The role of the informal sector in our economy, the upsurge of indiscriminate vending in urban areas has acutely affected the ambience of our environs while compromising the health of the residents,” Chombo said, adding that “vendors are selling their wares from everywhere including on pavements, open spaces and in front of shops.”

The minister’s verdict comes hard on the heels of disparaging statements made by Vice President  Phelekezeka Mphoko recently decrying “able-bodied people sitting down to sell tomatoes” on pavements instead of doing something worthwhile in urban centres wracked by unemployment.

The new Zanu PF deputy suggested vending should be a preserve of the disabled.

Chombo said vendors operating at undesignated areas in the cities and rural districts should be sacrificed for urban neatness.

“All local authorities are therefore required to immediately take necessary measures to remove the vendors from undesignated sites to alternative planned vending points,” he said.

This comes at a time when Zimbabwe's economy has been falling apart each passing day with several companies shutting down forcing many to resort to vending.

In her “meet-the-people” tours, First Lady Grace Mugabe last year ordered police to stop victimising struggling vendors.

Chombo, on the other hand, says local authorities should engage all stakeholders to ensure the streets are cleaned of subsistence traders who have become a permanent feature on most of the city’s streets and pavements.

He urged the city fathers to collaborate with the Small and

Medium Enterprises ministry, security agencies and other relevant arms of government to ensure sanity is restored in the urban centres.

Turning to the issue of housing, the minister warned resurgent land barons against illegal disposal of State land.

“On a related note, uncontrollable urban sprawl has worsened the situation through sprouting of illegal settlements, especially in large cities and municipals,” he said.

“At the centre of these illicit

developments are resurgent land barons who have been indiscriminately parcelling out land for personal benefit. Some of these people have resorted to use political rhetoric to promote and protect their interests,” Chombo added.

He said his ministry was not going to its fold hands and allow the situation to get out hand as culprits “will face the full wrath of the law.”

“All unsanctioned housing developments should be halted while those who are championing such activities must be reported to the police for prosecution,” Chombo said.

He said his ministry was working with the Lands and Rural Resettlement ministry to acquire land for urban housing development in all areas.

“The bulk of this land will be allocated to the local authorities for the necessary planning servicing and allocation to the needy.

“There is therefore no reason why unscrupulous persons should be allowed to turn our urban centres into a jungle in the name of redressing housing shortages,” he said.

Comments (20)

The minister's intentions are good but he must think deeper and discuss his intentions with his colleagues in ZANU PF and agree on 1 common position. Most of the time the people in ZANU PF contradict themselves and do not work towards common goals. ZANU PF should diifferentiante between party and Council or Government business. Political intetreference (and Minister Chombo is very good at this) in the affairs of the local authorities should stop. Responsibility for servicing land, allocation of such land etc should remain withn the local authorities.

Beta Dhliwayo - 1 February 2015

Oh really Chombo is that your observation? For your information Mr MInister we as residents of this once beautiful city have been saying that it has deteriorated beyond acceptable levels, for years. Oh sorry you must have been busy with your many, many projects!!!

saundy - 1 February 2015

City Fathers must be worried about instructions to remove vendors from the streets the express aim of this move is either to set the city fathers into a conflict with the struggling masses so that some people can profit from the discontent.Some people have a history of preparing for next elections as soon as they win one .They are an election government crafting policies that help uplift the lives of people is anathema to them. Their only preoccupation is how can we create conditions to win the next election OR since they now own most of the businesses in the country, they are trying to kill competition from the industrious citizens. You cant really understand how people can really sit down and plan to disempower citizens who are trying to eek an honest living of the only opportunity to provide for their families since no employment opportunities being created in this country.People will natural remove themselves from the streets when natural conditions are promotive of that .Currently the conditions dictate that they must be in streets period. lord give heart to those who feed daily on the poor yet they are planning to increase the poor man's sufering. From murambatsvina,unmitigated corruption,increased tollgates and tollgate fees that officials feel they cannot pay and now we cannot trade among ourselves as independent but suffering citizens.GOD FORBID.

waniwa s - 1 February 2015

Does Chombo know what makes these people vendors?To me it looks he does not know and he does not cared to know . Is he fit to be a minister? NO. He is one of the dullest ministers in the country i even feel ashamed to call him minister he is a big sithutha siruturutu, dekeleke...It is high time for vendors to say enough is enough and resist any form of harassment from mvere chena chombo dementy!!!!!! swine!!!!!!!!.

Diibulaanyika - 1 February 2015

These people selling things on pavements are only trying to earn a living. Where the f*** are the 2 million jobs promised by Cde RGM??? Chombo is in a comfort zone and he seems not to understand that there is a crisi out there and soon things will trun nasty...try and remove those people from the street and you will see what is going to happen. I know even police, CIO and soldier's wifes and children who are also selling tomatoes, bags etc on the streets. One cannot just sit at home and hope that stupid people like Chombo will feed our hungry stomachs. Viva street markets and all the loud speakers!!!

garikayi - 2 February 2015

I think Zimbabweans should now now the difference between one who drives a Disco 4 going to his farm, coming from a massive poshy house with 4 mercedes benz parked after having a four course meal and them who sell tomatoes to just have a meal for the day. In one saloon I heard someone saying we choose to have 1:0:0 or 0:1:0 or 0:0:1 meaning either breakfast until tomorrow or lunch until tomorrow or dinner until tomorrow yet ask Chombo how many meals he has, so that is the language of the haves. Mboko even thinks those with able bodies must not vend but should find something else to do, maybe beat p people at street corners and garbbing their cellpphones. Now nemployment is being blamed on the vendors and able bodied men. Magarika henyu,

maita - 2 February 2015

CHOMBO CHE zanu uses his anus to speak instead of his mouth and his balls to think instead of his head. One day and one day the tide is going to turn-mark my word

Referee - 2 February 2015

Looks like we are living in a different world. The powers-that-be are completely out of touch with reality on the ground. They live well, that`s why. Address the ills of this country first and then talk about removing the vendors from the streets. Infact, when the economic fundamentals are addressed, the vendors will find work. There won`t be any need to remove the vendors because the 2 million jobs would have been created!

m - 2 February 2015

Honestly, I dont see anything wrong with his statements. Imagine if the same words were being uttered by the former Prime Minister. While I appreciate everyone's line of thought, I also want to say if there could be some form of order. There are designated areas where people can sell their wares. Imagine the noise yavemo muna First St. Im not ZANU PF but I support what he said.

jore - 2 February 2015

Politics aside, the Minister is spot-on on this one. The current situation is a public health disaster waiting to happen.Business should be conducted from designated points where the basic hygiene facilities are provided.

Godfrey - 2 February 2015

Fuck Mphoko and his croonies. We know he runs supermarkets in Byo so he tries to protect his market uyinja

George - 2 February 2015

The observation by the Minister is obvious. However, his prescription suggests that he is dealing with the symptoms and not the cause. It is necessary to analyse the issue deeper and unravel the causes. I can help. They real issue is the economy. Minister, lets fix the economy and everything else will fall in place.

Jose - 2 February 2015

zanu pf promised to create 2 million jobs upto nw nothing has bin done. create jobs first and see if people wll refuse to take up employment mr chombo. we are vendors not by choice but we are struggling.

chihu - 3 February 2015

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