Vendors appeal for space in Byo CBD


BULAWAYO vendors have called on the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to provide vending spaces along 5th Avenue to avoid the chaos being caused by space barons.

At the height of the COVID-19 lockdown period in 2020, BCC banned vending along the 5th Avenue area and promised to allocate vending bays in residential areas and other designated places.

But post-COVID-19 lockdowns, the avenue has been invaded by illegal traders — a group calling itself Vendors4ED which is allocating its members vending space.

Speaking on behalf of the vendors, Abigirl Khupe told Southern Eye that they now want their vending bays back and are prepared to pay council fees.

 “As vendors, we want to operate like we did before; whereby we operated orderly while paying council.  We don’t want to sell for free, hence we want our stands back,” Khupe said.

“Right now there is no order on that street, anyone can sit in front of shops and sell their stuff and nothing is done about it,” she said.

Khupe said vendors wanted to support their families and council should prepare working places for them.

Bulawayo deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube said the place was a road, according to statutes and could not be designated as a vending space.

 “That place is a road according to a Statutory Instrument issued by government in 2019.  As council, we have no plans to reopen the street for purposes of vending because there is a lot of traffic in the central business district.

 “Secondly, every person who is a registered vendor, and who was vending on that side of the road was moved to other places.

“Everyone that is operating there right now is doing so illegally. Council will soon remove everyone from the place because we cannot allow disorder in the city,” Ncube said.

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