Vendors approach Supreme Court over eviction

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VENDORS Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (Viset) has approached the Supreme Court challenging a High Court decision to dismiss their appeal against the removal of hawkers from the central business district (CBD) in Harare.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

The High Court over two weeks ago dismissed the challenge by vendors to vacate the CBD.

Harare City Council, in its bid to sanitise the capital, ordered vendors off the streets, but the vendors appealed to the High Court, saying the ban was unlawful.

In its notice of appeal, Viset, represented by Mupanga Bhatasara Attorneys, said it wanted the judgment by the High Court overturned.

It cited City of Harare, Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri as the first, second and third respondents.

“The court a quo (High Court) erred in fact and in law in finding that the respondents did not violate section 68 of the Constitution in that appellants were said to have been given four days to comply with a prohibition statement to cease vending operations,” the appeal read.

“Specifically, the ban was made without prior consultations with those who were affected by it, who had a legitimate expectation to be heard, making the decision substantively and procedurally unfair.

“The court a quo (High Court) erred in fact and in law in finding that the conduct of the respondents fell within the permissible limitations envisaged in section 86 of the Constitution. The misdirection was compounded by the fact that there was no evidence placed before the court by the respondents to link the outbreak of typhoid and the carrying out of vending by first appellant members,” the application read.

Respondents must have dealt with garbage collection as well as supply water and ablution facilities to deal with the typhoid.

The vendors said the High Court erred in concluding that they came to court with dirty hands when it was established that they did not have permits out of their own fault, especially when Harare City Council had admitted that it had no capacity to accommodate all vendors within its designated vending sites.