‘Muguti has no powers to ban vendors in CBD’

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Tafadzwa Muguti

PRIVELEDGE GUMBODETE
THE Harare Residents Trust (HRT) has said Harare Metropolitan Affairs and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti has no powers to issue a directive banning informal traders from operating along traffic intersections.

This follows a statement issued by Muguti on March 4, which stated that the government had noticed a surge in informal traders operating at traffic intersection and also accused “unscrupulous businesses” of using the same venues to sell wares on street pavements to evade taxes.

Muguti then ordered the City of Harare to enforce its by-laws to ensure the central business district (CBD) is clean and orderly by removing the vendors, beggars and people selling from car boots.

HRT director Precious Shumba said although intersections should be clear of obstruction, Muguti lacked the jurisdiction to issue such a directive.

“Intersections should always be clear of any obstruction. The directive however should never come from the Minister of Provincial Affairs and Devolution or the secretary for provincial affairs and devolution. Local authorities have a clear mandate provided in local government legislation like the Urban Councils Act, and the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act,” Shumba said.

“Local authorities on their own have structures and processes in place to address illegal housing and other land developments. Our councillors and officials are competent to discharge their mandate with minimal supervision.  While Muguti has good intentions, it is important that he recognises the existing structures to deliver services.”

Constitutional lawyer Musa Kika said the office that Muguti purported to represent was not created by law and, therefore, it could not be recognised legally.

“That office is usurping the powers of the HCC. Only the HCC is empowered by law to come up with by-laws to regulate Harare. No one else has such powers, delegated or otherwise. The office Muguti represents is not created by law so that office is not recognised legally.”

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