Shadowy group gives Chinhoyi ultimatum on vendors

A ZANU PF aligned vendors’ group, Queen of Grace ZimAsset Trust, on Tuesday gave Chinhoyi municipality up to tomorrow to provide essential services at all vending sites, threatening unspecified action.

BY NUNURAI JENA/ JAMES MUONWA

Queen of Grace purportedly represents small-to-medium entrepreneurs.

Among the demands made by the group’s president, Ephraim Chizola are that council should provide potable water, ablution facilities, lockers and security personnel.

“If they fail to do that, we know how to make them do it,” he said, while addressing scores of vendors at Cooksey Hall.

“All trading facilities should have running water and functioning toilets and all revenue, which is supposed to come your way is going to come, if we agree on that.”

It, however, came out of the meeting that more than 90% of vendors, mostly those operating from undesignated sites, were not remitting any levies to the local authority.

Chizola distanced his organisation from First Lady Grace Mugabe and the ruling Zanu PF, although the event was punctuated with the party’s slogans while some participants were clad in the ruling party’s regalia.

Chizola, however, pledged allegiance to President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace.

“Ours is not a faction, but supports President Mugabe. Let me categorically state that anyone who denigrates Mugabe and the First Family will face our full wrath. We will defend them to the end,” he said.

He said Queen of Grace had a presence in Chinhoyi, but conceded it did not have structures there.

A captive council administration, comprising mayor, Test Michaels, town clerk, Maxwell Kaitano and other senior managers were told by the combative Chizola that council must urgently enact by-laws to suit the prevailing macro-economic conditions or face resistance by vendors to pay levies.

Interestingly, a fortnight ago the same council snubbed a meeting convened by the Chinhoyi Residents’ Trust, at which civic issues, among them those that affect vendors, were to be discussed.

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