Chitungwiza Municipality has warned that it will not hesitate to take action against illegal vendors who are trooping back to undesignated vending sites to sell wares.
This comes at a time when High Court Judge Justice Nyaradzo Munangati-Manongwa ordered Chitungwiza Municipality and Epworth Local Board to stop the demolition of illegal vending stalls and tuck shops arguing that it was unlawful.
The demolitions had been done without prior issuance of an enforcement order in terms of Section 32 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act.
Trustees of the Chitungwiza Residents Trust, Kushinga Epworth Residents Association and four other applicants had filed an urgent chamber application with the court against the action.
In a statement, Chitungwiza acting town clerk Dr Tonderai Kasu said the interim relief granted to the vendors did not give them the power to resume operations.
“It has been noted with concern that since the issuance of the court order, some informal traders have resumed their illegal operations at undesignated places, under the brazen and mistaken impression that the court order entitles them to do so,” he said.
“The order does not sanitise, condone or accept continued acts of illegality by informal traders. In fact, the order specifically prohibits them from committing further offenses with respect to conducting illegal operations.”
Dr Kasu said acts of defiance by informal traders could contributed to the spread of Covid-19 if not dealt with.
“The danger with vendors resuming illegal operations during lockdown is that they can facilitate the spread of Covid-19 and end up triggering an explosion of cases in Chitungwiza,” he said.
“Informal traders and vendors should immediately cease and desist from conducting illegal activities because we do not want overcrowding that promotes unhygienic and substandard conditions conducive for the spread of the disease.”
The local authority said it still retained its statutory power to issue orders for anyone to stop the development of any structure.