Mellisa Mutasa and Prince Mukuna
Harare City Council has put the vendor menace among its 2018 resolutions, with the city pledging to restore order and sanity by evacuating vendors who are rendering most roads and pavements impassable.
A city council official told The Herald that they were aiming at relocating vendors from the streets to formal markets being constructed and some already existing. Harare’s corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said the city officials were working on the modalities to remove the vendors off the streets.
“We are planning to provide market facilities for the informal sector through direct provision by the council, conversion of existing buildings and through participation by the private sector,” he said.
“Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe is also working with the city council towards a project to build a market at Coca-Cola along Seke Road, where vendors will be allocated stands and sell their products legally.”
Mr Chideme said the council was working on developing additional designated sites for vendors to reduce overcrowding in the Central Business District (CBD). Due to the lack of customers in the newly-designated areas, the vendors had occupied every free space in the CBD.
The city is hoping for vendor’s cooperation. Vendors have vowed to stay put until the city provided them with state-of-the-art market stalls, complete with ablution facilities.
“The city council deceives us with its false promises that it will build designated markets for us, which it does not do and we are now tired of those lies,” said Kudakwashe Tsodzo, a vendor who sells stationery in the city centre. Since we are not employed, we will employ ourselves in the streets where money circulates.”