The MDC-T-dominated Masvingo City Council and the Zimbabwe Republic Police have started implementing President Robert Mugabe’s directive to remove vendors from the streets in an effort to clean the city.
BY HAZVINEI MWANAKA
Masvingo mayor Hubert Fidze said they had no option, but to heed Mugabe’s call to clean up cities.
“It was a directive from the President that vendors should be out of the streets, so we are just working on that,” Fidze said.
Masvingo acting police provincial spokesperson Assistant Inspector Kudakwashe Dehwa said no vendors had been arrested during the operation.
“The city council is the main player in this operation. We are just there upon their request to provide manpower so this is what we are doing,” he said.
Dehwa said the exercise would go on as long as the vendors were still in the streets.
However, Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson Godfrey Mtimba said the continued harassment of vendors was a violation of their rights.
“We strongly condemn the continued harassment of vendors by council and police. The actions are a direct violation of vendors’ constitutional rights for every citizen to have an opportunity to work in a freely chosen activity for a decent living. We urge the government to immediately stop the harassment,” Mtimba said.
Despite the efforts being made to remove vendors from the streets, some are seen trickling back into the streets, keeping a close eye on the police.
One vendor who sells second-hand clothes near Simrac open space said they would remain in the streets since they were making a living out of it.
“We are not afraid of their joint operations. Yes, they are trying to remove us, but we know that one day they will get tired. All we just need from them is to give us proper places that are strategic to our market,” one vendor said.
“We have nowhere to go and we are making a living from this. If they continue doing this, some vendors will end up being criminals.”