Chitungwiza Municipality yesterday demolished illegal stalls that had been erected by vendors at Makoni Shopping Centre.
The vendors, who were allocated the spaces by barons, watched helplessly as their stalls were being destroyed.
According to council, the open space had been earmarked for the construction of a state-of-the-art shopping mall.
Some of the vendors were operating inside Makoni bus terminus while others had erected stalls less than two metres from the road, oblivious of the dangers this posed.
In an interview yesterday, Chitungwiza Mayor Lovemore Maiko said they wanted to send a clear message to space and land barons to stop their activities.
“We are putting all space barons on notice, it is no longer business as usual but it is now business unusual, we want law and order and we are striving to ensure that our town is clean and smart,” he said.
Mayor Maiko said people should adhere to laid down procedures when looking for space to trade.
“We are not against people who would want to do informal business , we are urging them to follow the laid down rules.
“They should register with council so that they are allocated safe working spaces, especially now when we are complimenting Government’s efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.”
He added that the municipality recently flighted a tender inviting partners to work with them in upgrading the markets, with Makoni being part of Government’s urban renewal programme under the theme “Building Back Better”.
“In this 21st century we are expecting to see infrastructure that should meet the world-class standards ” Mr Maiko said.
The development comes after council had issued a prohibition and enforcement order against the illegal activities, but the vendors proceeded to damage the infrastructure at the place. Last year, council was forced to demolish illegal structures at an open space in Zengeza 2 where council intended to allocate Econet to build a shopping mall.
Land barons, who were responsible for selling space at the shopping mall, claimed to have offer letters from council given to them years back.