Harare to escalate crackdown on vending

HARARE - Harare City Council has vowed to continue the clampdown against illegal vending in the Central Business District, city spokesperson Michael Chideme said yesterday.

This comes as vendors have begun trickling back into the CBD following the fall of Robert Mugabe.

In an interview with the Daily News, Chideme said the current relocation of vendors to designated sites is moving according to plan.

Thousands of street vendors are refusing to enter the newly-built flea market, being constructed by CBZ at Corner Cripps Road and Seke Road, saying it was not built at a strategic location and they would lose business.

The flea market is located on the outskirts of the city but the vendors say they do brisk business selling their wares on the streets and from shop fronts.

“We beefed up our enforcement unit. We have three retired senior assistant commissioners Negion Moyo, Joseph Mandizha, Leonard Charangwa who are here to help us with our enforcement and also to help us with the weight that we have always wanted in enforcement,” Chideme said.

He said clashes between vendors and law enforcement could be avoided if the informal traders abide by the law.

Chideme said vendors should not to be confrontational. The city spokesperson also warned vendors against giving space barons their money as protection for trading in the city centre.

“There have been false claims by some associations that the city move to install tents was designed to remove vendors from their legally allocated spaces.

“All legal and registered traders will remain on their allocated spaces. The city tents are designed to protect the people against profiteering by individuals fronting associations.

“Vending fees paid to individual space barons and associations are never invested back into the development of the vending sites, hence the decision by council to ensure that all vending fees are paid directly to council,” he said.

Chideme said perishable foods confiscated by the city during the operation will be destroyed while confiscated push carts will also be smashed and the metal recycled.

Since the clampdown on vendors dubbed “Operation Restore Order” started after Mugabe complained about the chaos in the CBD, thousands of dollars’ worth of wares have been confiscated and destroyed by the city.

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