Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Manicaland Bureau
More than 41 illegal vendors, touts and rank marshals have been arrested in Mutare since the launch of “Operation Restore Sanity”, a campaign being conducted jointly by the Mutare City Council and security forces. The operation aims to flush out people who have been operating illegally in the central business district as well as in Sakubva suburb.
Mutare City public relations officer Mr Spren Mutiwi told The Herald yesterday that 18 people were arrested on Monday and appeared in court on Tuesday.
“On Tuesday, 23 more were arrested and they should appear in court today (Wednesday) or tomorrow. Those arrested include illegal vendors, touts, rank marshals and some mushikashika (pirate taxi) operators,” he said.
Mr Mutiwi said since the beginning of the operation, there had been order in the city, with most vendors seeking to register with council to operate in designated places. He said council had plenty of space to accommodate all vendors who were registered.
“Our market stalls are not full yet. We have space at our Meikles Park vending market and the “E” avenue market, which is the biggest market in town. Most vendors have been shunning these stalls to go into the street and this had resulted in motorists using that market to park their cars. We are not banning vending, but we want it to be done within the confines of the council’s by-laws.
“Even those who were working from designated vending areas are happy because the illegal vendors on the streets were disadvantaging them.”
Mr Mutiwi said the operation would continue until there was sanity.