Vendors stay put – for now

26 Jan, 2017 - 00:01 0 Views
Vendors stay put – for now

The Herald

highcourt7janDaniel Nemukuyu: Senior Court Reporter

The High Court has temporarily barred Harare City Council from demolishing stalls for illegal food vendors or evicting them from their workstations pending determination of the main dispute next week.Justice David Mangota on Friday granted an interim relief to the Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) after deferring their challenge to Tuesday. Council, a fortnight ago slapped the food vendors with a 48-hour ultimatum to vacate the streets or risk the demolition of their properties.

Resisting the order, VISET through its lawyer Mr Tonderai Bhatasara of Mupanga Bhatasara Attorneys, filed an urgent chamber application to bar council from interfering with the vendors’ operations.

Justice Mangota’s injunction allows vendors on the streets until Tuesday when the contest will be heard at the High Court.

The court order reads:

“Pending the hearing and determination of the interim relief, it is ordered that the respondents or anyone acting on their behalf be and are hereby interdicted from initiating or proceeding with the demolition of the vending stalls, destruction of property and evicting of the first applicant’s members from areas they are operating from.”

On Tuesday council police were engaged in running battles with the vendors despite the existence of such a court order. Convoys of council trucks could be seen roaming the streets of Harare unsuccessfully trying to scare the vendors away.

Some vendors even hurled stones at the municipal police officers as a sign of resistance. Some vowed to remain on the streets saying vending was their source of livelihood.

The local authority banned illegal vending of food in the Harare metropolitan area following a typhoid outbreak which claimed two lives in Mbare.

Both victims died last month.

Council reported that 132 suspected cases of typhoid had been recorded so far, while 280 people had presented themselves for screening. The local authority said there were 22 confirmed cases of typhoid and fears were that the disease could spread through unhygienic food vending.

Health Services Director Dr Prosper Chonzi said he feared further typhoid outbreaks as the drivers of the disease were still to be dealt with. He urged residents, especially children, to go for early screening in the event of symptoms related to typhoid.

The symptoms of typhoid are: poor appetite, abdominal pain, headaches, generalised aches and pains, fever, high temperature, lethargy (usually only if untreated), intestinal bleeding or perforation (after two to three weeks of the disease), diarrhoea or con- stipation.

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