City battles night vendors menace

Source: City battles night vendors menace – The Southern Eye

ILLEGAL night vendors have been accused of littering streets in the Bulawayo central business district (CBD) with associations representing registered informal traders calling on law enforcement agencies to take action.

Bulawayo has recorded an increase in night-time informal trading, especially in the CBD where vendors are operating from street pavements.


Zanu PF activists have been accused of allocating illegal vending bays in the CBD and collecting fees from the vendors.

The council has been complaining that it is receiving little in revenues from vendors in licensing fees as many were operating illegally.

Municipal police have been seen confiscating wares from the illegal vendors with some confrontations turning into violent running battles.



This publication gathered that some vendors now preferred to operate after hours and illegally when municipal police would have knocked off.

Bulawayo Streetwise Informal Traders Association director Percy Mcijo said his organisation was against all sorts of illegal vending, day or night.

 “We are having a situation where vendors are avoiding following the bylaws and we urge the council to take action and arrest these people,” Mcijo said.


Mcijo said their investigations showed that the majority of night vendors were not registered.


“Vendors, who are registered with any association, don’t operate during the night,” he said.

“We don’t encourage night vending as we would not know what would be sold as a majority of vendors now sell drugs.

“We urge citizens to be law abiding, follow the set bylaws, be formal in their operations and subscribe to the set regulations.”

Mcijo encouraged night vendors to register and operate within the bylaws.

Ward 1 councillor Josiah Mutangi said city fathers were against any form of night vending.

“Council is aware of the night vendors, publicity and engagements are being done to resolve this coupled with security operations to clear the illegal vendors,” Mutangi said.

 “Night vending is indeed illegal and we urge citizens to stop the practice and abide by the set bylaws.

“We seek to bring an end to illegal vending and provide vending bays for fruit and vegetables, new and used clothing in various points in and around the CBD at the convenience of the citizens  and ensuring that we decongest the city and enhance cleanliness of our CBD.”

Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said they were not aware of the illegal night vendors

“Police are not aware of night vendors that are taking pavement places throughout the central business district and I would not be able to comment on an issue that I don’t know,” Ncube said.

Recently, the council faced resistance in its attempts to force vendors to vacate the streets and operate from the recently opened Egodini bus terminus.

The city’s pavements and streets have been taken over by an influx of vendors, some of them  coming all the way from Harare.

City fathers have complained that the city is now one of the dirtiest as a result because of littering mainly by the illegal vendors.

Bulawayo mayor David Coltart recently led a clean-up campaign in the city, expressing concerns over littering by illegal vendors.

However, months after he came in, the vendors have remained in the city and their numbers have even swollen.

Coltart was unreachable for comment on Friday.