BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
Bulawayo vendors have accused municipal police officers of demanding bribes so they do not confiscate their wares during raids at illegal selling points.
Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association executive director Michael Ndiweni said municipal police officers are bribed so that they turn a blind eye on vendors who want to sell their goods at strategic points in the city.
“The municipal police is demanding bribes from vendors so that they can save their goods and be able to sell in strategic points,” Ndiweni told Southern Eye yesterday.
“We recently had a meeting with the Bulawayo City Council and this was one of the major issues which surfaced.”
He said the issue of selling at strategic points applied to licensed and unlicensed vendors.
“As informal traders we want to see how much is being lost through bribes. We have raised this with the BCC again after our meeting, we hope investigations will be carried out,” Ndiweni added.
“Licensed informal traders sometimes are threatened or lack knowledge on the laws governing the sector and they are harassed even if they have the papers.”
Ndiweni said unlicensed vendors sell wares from the boots of their cars.
“These people must be made to pay licenses or a certain fee because they are shortchanging those who are paying to council,” Ndiweni said.
Central business district ward one councillor Mlandu Ncube said the council does not tolerate corruption.
“As city council we do not support corruption and we are against it. Those that have been made to pay bribes should report even to the police,” Ncube said.
BCC director of security and enforcement, Sikhangele Zhou said they had not received any reports or complaints from vendors. She, however, condemned corrupt activities.
“I did not get any reports or complaints of bribery.
“However if any allegations are brought forward they will be investigated and anyone found to be taking bribes will be brought to book,” Zhou said.