CHIREDZI Town Council has been thrown into an invidious position, where it has to identify alternative space to relocate its vendors following a government ultimatum that they should leave the town’s central business district (CBD) by end of day tomorrow.
By Garikai Mafirakureva
In a statement read to residents by the district administrator Lovemore Chisema on behalf of Local Government minister July Moyo at Chitsanga Hall, vendors were given 72 hours to leave their illegal stalls.
The 10-minute meeting was attended by vendors, council officials and all organs of the Joint Operations Committee (JOC), which include the Zimbabwe National Army, President’s Office, Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services.
Three weeks ago, Moyo gave vendors 48 hours to vacate the streets in all cities and towns around the country, but Chiredzi Town Council did not heed the directive.
The town has one market stall constructed long ago, which cannot accommodate the hordes of vendors operating from the CBD.
Town secretary Charles Muchatukwa confirmed that they were now in a dilemma and were planning to hold an urgent consultative meeting on Friday to address the issue.
“We are going to convene an urgent meeting with all stakeholders on Friday to identify areas in Tshovani township that we can relocate vendors to. We are going to consult with councillors to help us identify places in their wards,” he said.
United Chiredzi Residents Ratepayers’ Association secretary Bernard Dachi blasted council officials for sleeping on duty.
“We know most people are earning a living through selling various wares on the streets. We expected council to have put in place alternative vending sites long ago, not these last-minute efforts they are putting in place,” he said.
“Most of the vendors will lose a lot business. As council they knew this was a national exercise, so why did they choose to ignore?”
Efforts to get a comment from the vendors’ representatives were futile, as they left the meeting in a huff.