‘Mupedzanhamo reopening long overdue’

Second-hand clothes vendors encroach into the main road that passes through Mupedzanhamo flea market in Harare disrupting flow of traffic

ZANU PF affiliate Vendors 4ED has expressed concern over the failure by the City of Harare to re-open Mupedzanhamo flea market in Mbare.

The Mupedzanhamo market has been closed for almost three years now.

Its reopening was initially set for December 20, 2022.

Vendors 4ED chairperson Samora Chisvo said its reopening was long overdue.

“The City of Harare keeps postponing its reopening under the guise of ongoing renovations,” Chisvo said.

“This is forcing our members to operate from undesignated places. A number of our traders who are operating outside the Mupedzanhamo market are paying US$5 in bribes to council officials and space barons to operate.”

Vendors in the capital have already defied a government ultimatum to stop operating from undesignated places.

Government accuses the informal traders of aiding the spread of cholera in the capital.

Chisvo denied the charges adding that they were not moved by the ultimatum unless the City of Harare provides them alternative trading spaces.

Over the years, activists from the opposition and Zanu PF have clashed over vending spaces at Mupedzanhamo flea market.

Last month, Citizens Coalition for Change and Zanu PF activists clashed over the list of vendors to operate from the Mupedzanhamo flea market when it reopens soon.

In 2015, Zanu PF activists blocked the official ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of an Asian-funded US$40 million state-of-the-art mall opposite the flea market, saying they were not informed about the project.

The project was expected to provide the local community 5 000 market stalls, 67 small shops, supermarkets, secure parking area, an eating area, a commercial centre with banks, office space and sports facilities.

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