Vendors score court victory

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Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo

STREET vendors operating at undesignated sites in all the country’s urban centres heaved a sigh of relief yesterday when High Court judge Justice Felistas Chatukuta interdicted government from forcibly evicting them without following due process.

BY STAFF REPORTER

The court order followed an urgent application filed last week by the Zimbabwe Informal Sectors’ Organisation (Ziso) lawyer Chris Mhike.

Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo had given vendors an ultimatum to move to designated sites by June 26 or they would face unspecified action.

The government initially set yesterday as the deadline before extending it to month end to enable smooth transition.

Mhike said the matter was resolved by consent.

“The clean-up exercise that had been scheduled for today (yesterday) was set aside. Government also formally confirmed that the military will not be deployed for the exercise,” he said.

“It was also decided that any exercise to resolve the vendor issue will be carried out in accordance with the dictates of due process.”

In its application, Ziso had cited Chombo, Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi and Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni as respondents.

Manyenyeni said the problem of illegal vending was caused by economic hardships.

“We have to manage them (vendors). They do not want to be there and we do not want them to be there,” he said. “They are victims of the economic circumstances.”