Zanu PF shadowy militia group Chipangano has overrun Harare City Council, taking control of the capital and collecting substantial amounts of cash in revenue generated at almost all council properties.
Council Housing and Community Services Committee chairperson Charles Nyatsuro yesterday conceded there was chaos in Harare with council losing huge sums of potential revenue to the Mbare-based group which has become “more powerful than council and the police”.
“We are not getting anything from the markets as these people are taking the money at Mupedzanhamo, Mbare Musika and other council businesses,” Nyatsuro said.
“Even (Local Government minister Ignatius) Chombo is worried about that and has promised to engage the Home Affairs co-ministers (Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone) so that they bring to an end the chaos. We are even footing the water bills for facilities these people have invaded and are using. They have invaded open spaces along Fourth Street and in the city centre where they now run flea markets. They collect money from kombi operators at different ranks.”
Vendors at the busy Mupedzanhamo Market, Mbare Musika (bus terminus), Mbare vegetable market, Carter House, Epworth, city centre (flea markets and bus terminuses) are reportedly forced to pay between $1 and $5 to the Zanu PF touts daily.
There was growing concern again on Monday when touts brandishing council parking discs invaded the city centre taking over vehicle parking business from Easipark, a firm currently in a messy fight with council over control of the trade.
Concern on Chipangano was raised in the committee meeting recently where council observed mushrooming of illegal open markets without its approval.
“The housing and community services committee expressed concern over the continued mushrooming of illegal open markets in the high density areas. The town clerk reported the matter was a cat-and-mouse game where the vendors kept coming back,” read the council minutes.
Harare town clerk Tendai Mahachi said he would soon meet Chombo over the matter.
Mbare MP Piniel Denga conceded he had been barred from his constituency by Chipangano adding that the Zanu PF apparatchiks were demanding money from vendors and running a “parallel council”.