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Blitz against car dealers

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Harare City Council yesterday launched a blitz against illegal car dealers, demolishing structures at seven premises along the city’s roads.
The council operation concentrated on unregistered car sales along Robert Mugabe Road.

Council workers pulled down fences and offices leaving a few registered businesses untouched.
The move is in line with a council resolution made in February to demolish all illegal structures including car sales that have mushroomed in the city.

Leslie Gwindi, council’s public relations manager, vowed the local authority would continue with the operation despite opposition by Zanu PF activists who threatened to fight back.

“There is no going back on demolishing illegal car sales in the city, but we are told there are youths who have now come in to stop this,” he said.

“But we have approached police (ZRP) so that they can be brought to book. That is lawlessness that should be condemned and stopped.

“We had given them prior warning, but we understand there are forces that want to cause confusion, that’s unacceptable and we remain undeterred.

Jim Kunaka, Zanu PF provincial youth chairperson who is also a council employee, said they would fight to stop the council operation.

“As youth chairman of Harare province, I will not allow council to go around terrorising these people who are working,” he told NewsDay.

“They destroyed property, but I will stand against that. I don’t mind whether it was a council resolution or what, I will stand to fight them.”

“They are giving each other commercial stands in council but if young people apply, they don’t give them.

“We warn them that if they come back to demolish, we will fight.”

Police spokesperson Chief Inspector James Sabau said police would only act if council obtained permission from the courts.

“We can only assist when they have a court order and in the absence of that there is nothing we can do to help,” he said.

“That has nothing to do with the police and council should deal with their own people.”

When NewsDay visited the affected car sales, second-hand vehicles were parked outside the premises while owners were trying to clear their belongings.

“We were given a 48-hour notice on Saturday and the municipal police came today and told us to remove the fences and the cars,” said Taurai Masasa, an employee at one of the illegal car sales.

Many Zimbabweans rushed to import second-hand cars after government in 2010 announced that it would stop them from being brought
into the country, but the move was later reversed.

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