ZANU PF affiliated vendors in Bulawayo have claimed they were forced to take matters into their hands when they allocated themselves vending bays along the city’s Fifth Avenue because the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) was being nepotistic.
This is quite an interesting, if not shocking, admission by those in the ruling party that they are at liberty to break the law with impunity.
Surely, even if BCC was discriminating in allocating vending bays to those requiring them, this did not give the vendors the licence to invade Fifth Avenue and literally close the road.
Is this not the reason why there is so much chaos in our urban areas, when those in the ruling party have this misguided audacity to act above the law?
The Zanu PF vendors also claim that some people from BCC collect at least US$2 everyday from the illegal Fifth Avenue vendors, allegations flatly denied by BCC. Given that these vendors are there illegally, we are tempted to believe the local authority. The vendors, after criminally settling themselves in Fifth Avenue now demand to be relocated to more suitable operating spaces.
This is hardly surprising given the fact that it is in the public domain that Zanu PF has been linked to the hordes of land barons unlawfully parcelling out residential stands in urban areas to desperate home seekers.
The actions by the Fifth Avenue vendors vindicate assertions by critics that Zanu PF has gone rogue in the urban areas where it long lost control to the opposition.
In our view, the ruling Zanu PF party should come clean on this lawlessness, not only in Bulawayo, but across most, if not all, local authorities.
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Maybe all this emanated from the bloody and chaotic 2000 land invasions, which appear to have given all and sundry in the ruling party the right to settle everywhere and anywhere they so choose.
In Harare, for instance, we hear of Zanu PF youths who have reportedly overrun council properties such as flea markets, vegetable markets and even parking bays in some streets. Councils are obviously losing revenue through these shameful shenanigans by those with links to the ruling party.
It is scandalous on the part of Zanu PF to create and foment chaos in the urban areas it does not control and then turn around and blame the councils for allowing lawlessness.
So far Zanu PF and its government have been vainly throwing spanners into the works of urban councils with the hope that the urban dwellers vote out the opposition councillors.
The folly has reached such jaw-dropping levels that the Zanu PF government recently sourced fire tenders for councils and exorbitantly charged them for the vehicles. Worse, the government is telling the councils to park whatever plans they had for devolution funds and use them to buy the expensive fire tenders from Belarus.
And all this speaks to a ruling party which has no respect whatsoever for the rule of law.