HARARE City Council is planning to raid vendors dotted across the capital’s streets following the expiry of a 48-hour ultimatum issued to unregulated traders early this week.
BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA
The local authority, on Tuesday, issued an ultimatum for vendors to vacate their market stalls, accusing them of worsening the spread of waterborne diseases, such as typhoid, which has already claimed two lives, while hundreds have had to be hospitalised.
City spokesperson, Michael Chideme yesterday said council had finalised its logistical preparations, but would not disclose when the forced removals would begin.
“We have enlisted police support to help us implement our by-laws. We have completed the mapping and surveillance of the areas we are going to enforce.
“We have adequately deployed to ensure the exercise does not flop. We cannot disclose to you how and what time we are going to react to non-movement from the streets,” he said.
While council was preparing to swoop on the vendors, yesterday it was business as usual amid threats of a legal showdown by representatives of the street traders.
The Combined Harare Residents’ Association (CHRA) called on city authorities “to address the major drivers of typhoid rather than concentrating on window-dressing measures such as the war on vendors”.
“Unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation and hygiene services are among the key drivers of typhoid and need urgent attention if the typhoid outbreak is to be contained,” CHRA said in a statement.
“The situation in Harare is compounded by the fact that over the years, residents have endured erratic water supplies, while refuse collection is generally poor.”
CHRA added that Harare’s failure to provide potable water to residents had forced many to resort to unprotected sources exposing them to diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
“Service delivery remains poor in Harare and by declaring war on ‘unregulated vending’, the Harare City Council is only scratching the surface of the problems leading to the typhoid outbreak in Harare,” CHRA said.