INFORMAL traders scrapping for a living in Harare’s streets have surrendered their fate to the authorities following Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo’s order that they should get off undesignated vending areas in the city.
by PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
Harare Informal Traders president Onesimo Gore told NewsDay that they were powerless to do anything although some vendors were still operating in the central business district (CBD).
He said they had a meeting with officials from the municipal police on Tuesday, but they refused to give them the date when the clean-up would be carried out.
“They said if they told us, we would warn our members and they would not go to their sites,” he said.
“So we are not sure about what’s going to happen and when the
clean-up will start. We are, however, not taking any action. We will just wait to see what happens.”
Gore said they had been told that their members should work from designated vending spots along Cameron Street, Market Square, Dr Simon Muzenda Street (formerly Fourth Street), Chinhoyi Street and Park Street.
“Our worry is that these places are not adequate to accommodate all our members because in the CBD alone we have nearly 6000 members,” he said.
Chombo has been pushing for the ejection of vendors from the streets in the central business district where he alleged they compromised health standards.
He told mayors and council chairpersons at the 73rd Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe annual general meeting in Bulawayo late last month that was unacceptable that vendors should sell their merchandise on pavements, open spaces and shop verandahs.
“The role of the informal sector in our economy, the upsurge of indiscriminate vending in urban areas has acutely affected the ambience of our environs while compromising the health of the residents,” Chombo said.
Some vendors, however, indicated that they would stay put because they were given the green-light to operate in the CBD by First Lady Grace Mugabe during her controversial “Meet-the-People” rallies late last year.