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City council arrests unlicenced vendors


HARDLY a week after it unceremoniously shelved its planned mass demolition of illegal structures, the Harare City Council has turned its anger against illegal vendors operating in the central business district.


Council spokesperson Leslie Gwindi told NewsDay yesterday that the clean-up blitz code-named “Street vending regedzai” (loosely translated “stop street vending”) had already caused the arrest of over 100 unlicenced vendors.

“We urge all vendors to use designated vending sites, pay vending fees and adhere to the minimum regulations as espoused by the city vending by-laws,” Gwindi said.

However, Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) chairman Simbarashe Moyo condemned the council crackdown saying they were making life difficult for residents.

“People are trying to make a living and they are being chased away. To do that is not a solution,” Moyo said.

“A lasting solution is needed. What they are doing is not different from what government wanted to do by demolishing people’s houses and other illegal structures. It only causes lots of problems,” he said.

During the city’s budget consultations, residents argued that the city was not effectively dealing with illegal activities and urged the city authorities to levy.

Harare City Council last week threatened to pull down all illegal structures in the city, but later deferred the programme by two months following an outcry by residents and politicians.

Zanu PF Mbare MP Tendai Savanhu warned his Zanu PF counterpart Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to stop the demolitions saying they were against party policies.

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