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Vendors run riot, resist evictions


RIOTS broke out in central Harare yesterday, briefly bringing business to a standstill, as vendors fought running battles with police, who were trying to push them off the streets.


This came as High Court judge, Justice David Mangota, issued an interdict stopping the blitz on vendors.

The interdict barred Harare City Council, Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri from evicting vendors or destroying their stalls.

The vendors’ lawyer, Tonderai Bhatasara, said the interdict would remain in force until finalisation of the matter.
“The police and council should stop the actions, which they had already started against our client’s members, because the interdict is clear,” he said.

Council was represented by David Kanokanga, while the police and Local Government ministry were represented by an R Chandura.

Council says the blitz on vendors is part of measures to contain the spread of waterborne diseases.

Vendors have, however, vowed to resist any attempts to push them off the streets.

“Removing us from here is a death sentence, so we will die on the streets,” Titus Mashongwa, a vendor, said.
Charity Chengu, who operates close to Batanai Gardens, taunted the police, as the battlelines were drawn, saying she would flee, but return to her selling point once the dust had settled.

“Unless you become vendors and stay on the streets full-time, I will be here, I will run away, when you come and come jogging back once you leave,” she said, as she chided police officers involved in the blitz.

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