BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) is contemplating unleashing municipal police on night patrol duties to flush out vendors, who avoid paying vending fees by selling their wares at undesignated sites after hours.
BY ALEXIS SIBANDA/TALENT GUMPO
Council has been involved in running battles with illegal vendors, who have since started plying their trade after 5pm when municipal security have knocked off.
Speaking in an interview, Ward 1 councillor Mlandu Ncube said vendors were taking advantage of the fact that council does not have a 24-hour service at the moment.
“The issue of unlicensed vendors has really gotten out of hand in the central business district and they know that we do not have 24-hour service, hence, there is an increase in number of vendors working during the night. As council, we aim to clear such vending,” he said.
Ncube said selling from car boots was becoming popular because it was easier for them to flee from council security personnel that
“They know that what they are doing is wrong, that is why whenever they see our security details, they run away. We are in the process of coming up with ways of dealing with such tendencies,” he said.
Latest council minutes on housing and community services showed that as on February 8, only 1 978 of the 7 000 registered vendors had renewed their licences as at December 31, 2017.
Council advised vendors to renew their vending licences annually.
Meanwhile, licensed traders have complained about lack of action by council against illegal traders at the vending sites, saying there was no point of paying licence, as their business has been taken away by illegal traders.