Residents slam Chihuri over ‘illegal’ flea market

Harare residents, council and other stakeholders have attacked Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri for reportedly supporting an “illegal” flea market next to Harare Central Police Station.

Chihuri, lent his support for the flea market last week, when he toured the “illegal” market at the centre of a storm between council and the police and warned the city against “sabotaging” the project.

Residents yesterday condemned the police boss’ utterances and accused him of promoting “anarchy” in the city saying this could lead to further illegal occupation of private and open spaces.

Combined Harare Residents’ Association chairman Simbarashe Moyo accused Chihuri of selfishness.

“The problem is council has no muscle to enforce and this has been shown by the invasion of Mupedzanhamo and flea markets in the city. The council has to concede that they have failed in that regard,” Moyo said.

“He (Chihuri) thinks he is above the law and taking advantage of the city council’s weakness and abusing the law he is supposed to be enforcing. It’s a shame and very unfortunate.”

Harare Residents’ Trust coordinator Precious Shumba accused Chihuri of usurping the municipality’s powers using unorthodox means.

“The police are abusive and going beyond their mandate. The local authority has overall mandate of all within its jurisdiction including police stations. They have a mandate for a safe, secure environment and flea markets pollute the environment if not well managed.

If police officers break the law, they must be held accountable and the city council has no reason to apologise,” Shumba said.

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