HARARE mayor Bernard Manyenyeni has conceded that the increase of vendors in the city had overwhelmed council and that Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo was working on a lasting solution to the matter.
Manyenyeni on Tuesday toured the city centre and interacted with vendors, concluding that they were not “wild” people.
Manyenyeni said council should sympathise with vendors as their coming into the city centre was not out of choice, but failure by central government to address their plight.
“I concluded that they are not wild as some would want to believe. I admit the city centre has been overwhelmed because they have taken their wares to the streets and in some instances leave a distance of 30 or so centimetres and making it difficult for traffic and movement of people,” he said.
“They close pavements, but let’s negotiate with them. Those are short-term arrangements until a vending place is realised. Vending booths should also be put on strategic areas.”
Manyenyeni added: “The city has been overwhelmed, the economy has pushed vendors to these levels, but the minister is working on an arrangement. My conclusion (after the tour) is that they have been forced into such circumstances. Its little business and those people are competing with each other.”