Vendor war turns political


ZANU PF and MDC-T councillors in Harare have reportedly turned Town House into a battlefield where the two parties were divided over the fate of vendors operating in the central business district (CBD).


The tug-of-war started when the MDC-T ordered its councillors, who dominate Harare City Council, to resist any attempts by the Zanu PF government to forcibly evict vendors from the CBD.

However, management at Town House was said to be taking instructions from Zanu PF which was pushing for the vendors to relocate to the designated vending sites outside the CBD.

The vendors’ issue was set to dominate tonight’s full council meeting as it emerged that the MDC-T councillors were spoiling for a fight with the city’s management over the matter.

Council’s informal sector committee chairperson Wilton Janjazi (MDC-T) confirmed his committee would table the matter for discussion at the meeting, but refused to shed light on the alleged fights between management and councillors.

“We will discuss at the full council meeting where the issue will be tabled, so I don’t want to pre-empt what will be discussed,” Janjazi said.

Other MDC-T councillors who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were under strict instructions to work on the side of vendors and not allow the government to use council management to harass the vendors.

“The party is pro-vendors and we are working with a management that is instructed to remove them from the street and that is now more of a political war than just a vendors’ issue,” one councillor said.

National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) leader Samuel Wadzai said it was suspicious that Zanu PF space barons who had been campaigning for the removal of vendors from the city centre were now leading the registration process.

Some of the vendors’ organisations that have been pushing for the removal of vendors from the city centre included the Zanu PF-aligned Queen of Grace ZimAsset Trust, Grassroots Empowerment and Flea Market and Vending Association. Other groups have been accused of having links with the opposition.

Navuz said over 100 000 vendors were operating in the city although council has put the figure at 20 000 people.

Council spokesperson Michael Chideme said by Sunday only 2 149 vendors had been registered.

“Everyone with vendor’s card should go on site and those who fail to do so will be forced to withdraw their cards and give them to others,” he said.

“We are moving in to put tents at all open markets for shelter. Copacabana and Market Square are now full and also Chinhoyi and Samora Machel street markets. We are directing all the people coming to markets with space, but once we are done we will go to suburbs for the same exercise to issue vendors with their cards.”

Investigations by NewsDay showed that council, if it managed to register all the vendors in Harare for $3,25 each, it would likely pocket $325 000.

Council would be guaranteed of a steady daily revenue of $125 000 from the $1,25 to be paid by each vendor.


  1. gore rino vamwe vacharamba vachiita mari nema $125000/day aya kana ndege vacbatenga daily achitora $10000/$15000 hake

  2. What is wrong with the council officials? Councillors elected by the people of Harare have the final say about how they like the vendor issue resolved.It is a political issue and it needs a political solution.They say they have over 20 000 vendors but have issued slightly above 2 000 licences.What criteria was used to issue the 2149 disks?

    Quote: Navuz said over 100 000 vendors were operating in the city although council has put the figure at 20 000 people.

    Council spokesperson Michael Chideme said by Sunday only 2 149 vendors had been registered.

    With proper planning,studies have shown that there is no need to fight the vendors.

  3. the central government led by Zanu pf is not helping in collective response to the situation instead their main focus is to allow party sympathizers to dominate vending while they benefit from vendor rates. Local government is greatly undermined. Local governance is not a political space for you Zanu pf. Leave those entrepreneurs empower themselves since u have failed to empower them

  4. MDC council has a point. They are simply saying they can not force people to go to an area where there are no toilets, no water, no shelter.

  5. Organoisation is the panacea to chaotic operation. Vending as a profession should not be conducted in front of other people’s businesses.

    Secondly the police have a hand in this because second hand clothes are not allowed but they are being sold at Charge Office under their nose. Shame on you Chihuri it seems you are gamatox!!

    Second had clothes do not paid duty and are smuggled into the country paralysing all line industries from farmers, ginnery, textile, clothing, retail and government losing taxes whilst jobs are lost to these smuggled expensive second hand clothes.

    A pair of trousers costs USD5 thus R60 which in S.A. you buy two new trousers surely what are we doing?

  6. @martz manyepa baba which industry is manufacturing clothes in zim everyone is smuggling goods in the country. kutengesera mushop hazvirevi kuty you are not a smuggler no. bt wakawana pekutengesera izvo zvawapinza munyika nechiokomuhomweeee saka rega mavendor awane pekudyira shaa

  7. asi hamuzive kuti charge office markert ndeye ZRP here, so chihuri can not arrest vendors veipapo chero vakatengesa smuggled goods bcoz those vendors pay daily rentals to the policefor that space

  8. Varume nevakadzi masecond hand clothes tikaabvisa tinodyiwa magaro nembwa. 90% yemaZimbabweans are clothed by these second hand clothes. Let it be just regularised. Hatina mari.

    Ndatenda Hangu

  9. nyangwe mukavabvisa my street they’ll still come back. varegei vakadaro. and problem nemavendors ngaabude my town aende kuBrooke but one day zvichadhakwa kana nemuBrooke macho rega uone zimasset

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