The Zanu PF Harare province has vowed to get rid of foreigners operating in the city centre and replace them with party supporters ahead of possible elections.
Zanu PF Harare district coordinating chairman Jaison Pasadi had a meeting with Christopher Zvobgo the city’s acting town clerk last week to lecture him on the need to override the by-laws and “empower the people”.
During the meeting, Pasadi was said to have stressed that there was no turning back on utilising open spaces, particularly along Park Street and taking over shops run by foreigners in Harare and handing them over to locals.
Pasadi confirmed meeting with Zvobgo and his party’s intention to seize foreign-owned premises to hand them over to Zanu PF supporters.
In an interview with NewsDay Pasadi said the party was targeting open spaces and shops occupied by foreigners in the city to give to “deserving people”.
“It starts from the grassroots and as Zimbabweans, we can penetrate into those shops,” said Pasadi.
“We are not talking of factories only but we are also talking of shops so that people can sell their goods from those shops.
“These foreigners are selling cell phones but can’t we also do the same and have our people selling cell phones?” he said.
“We cannot talk of empowering our people when we don’t have somewhere to run our business from.
“Which country in Africa has foreigners flooding the capital city? We want that to be corrected as a matter of urgency.”
Sources reported Pasadi said Zanu PF was not happy that people were finding it difficult to get space to operate from while foreign traders flooded the city.
He is also reported to have told Zvobgo the move to take over shops run by foreign nationals had the backing of senior party officials.
Addressing the 11th Zanu PF annual conference in Mutare a fortnight ago President Robert Mugabe threatened to seize all United States and British investments in Zimbabwe if the countries maintained targeted sanctions.
“Unless they remove sanctions, we will take 100%. This includes companies mining gold and other minerals,” said President Mugabe.
Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda last week said the behaviour of Zanu PF should stop and the party should try to respect the laws of the city.
“Yesterday (last Wednesday), there was a Zanu PF delegation that saw Engineer Zvobgo who is the acting town clerk.
“During the meeting, the DCC chairman made it clear that they had the blessing of VP Joice Mujuru to establish a flea market in the city,” said Masunda.
“But what should be made clear is that Harare City Council is the designated authority and we have systems here and won’t tolerate that,” Masunda said.
“He has to get it clear that the way they have been doing things is not the way and we have areas designated for that,” Masunda said.
Recently Zanu PF youths went about removing MDC-T supporters from market stalls in Mbare.
The same group has also targeted the open space earmarked for Mupedzanhamo Phase 2 maerket and has gone on to accuse the city council of not doing enough for the people, especially Zanu PF supporters.