HomeNewsFlea market blitz nets $100 000 goods

Flea market blitz nets $100 000 goods

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Armed police yesterday raided Sakubva flea market and confiscated goods worth about $100 000 from vendors in this eastern border city.
The police blitz, which started in the early hours yesterday, kicked off with a door-to-door raid in the Chinyausunzi section of Sakubva close to the flea market.
The police pounced on unsuspecting vendors and confiscated wares from about 800 of them.
The vendors said the operation was being headed by officer commanding Mutare Urban Chief Superintendent Joseph Chani.
Efforts to obtain comment from Chani were fruitless as he was said to be out of the office all day yesterday, while his cell phone number was unavailable.
Vendors who spoke to this newspaper said the police took away all the goods that were on sale at the flea market and said they should bring receipts as proof of legal purchase.
“We do not understand why they are raiding us. They did not even produce search warrants,” said Micheal Sungano, who sells second-hand clothes at the flea market.
Another vendor, Tichawona Munemo, said living in Sakubva was now a nightmare as they were constantly harassed by the police.
“They are raiding us in the evenings and they don’t even produce search warrants.
“They are leaving criminals to move freely but harassing people who are trying to earn an honest living,” said an angry Munemo.
Godfrey Nyajeka said the reason why flea market traders were smuggling goods was because of the prohibitive import duty being charged by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra).
When NewsDay visited Chisamba Police Station, hundreds of vendors could be seen milling around trying to recover their goods.
Those that produced declaration forms and receipts had their goods returned to them while those with second-hand clothes suspected to have been smuggled into the country from Mozambique were not given back any merchandise.
Said Nyajeka:
“We want to pay tax to Zimra for importing goods into the country, but we can’t afford their charges.”
Police last week raided the Chineta section also in Sakubva and confiscated second-hand clothes, shoes, liquor and computers.
Chief Superintendent
Chani said in a local newspaper last week that some parts of Sakubva had become havens for criminals.

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