BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
GOVERNMENT yesterday said it had shelved plans to construct suitable workstations for vendors whose structures were demolished as it was yet to secure an investor for the project.
Harare City Council backed by the police at the weekend demolished illegal vending stalls and tuckshops in Mbare, Harare.
Addressing journalists in the capital yesterday, Harare Metropolitan Affairs minister Oliver Chidawu said they were mindful of the need to provide alternate workspaces for vendors who were affected by demolitions.
“To this end, we are liaising with the City of Harare to identify new areas where traders can be relocated and have a mutually beneficial working arrangement with the local authority.
“We have decided that everyone goes into Shawasha grounds. We are going to build temporary structures there until we get an investor. We have already cancelled (the contract of) the previous investor who has failed to perform. So it has just been closed all these years,” he said.
Chidawu added: “No one is allowed to go on the streets to sell wares as the streets are designed for cars. People must be where it is designated for them (vendors). We have not been providing adequate space for them, but now alternative space has been given which is Shawasha grounds.”
Harare Provincial Affairs and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti said it was difficult to plan smart cities without having control over land which belongs to council.
“We are, therefore, asking for everyone who has been operating illegally at places you know you don’t have papers from the local authority, to remove your wares and materials and approach the local authority so that you can be given somewhere to work from,” Muguti said.
He said the local authority had identified areas to be designated vending bays and vendors would be paying directly to council.
“Development control is now at full throttle in Harare metropolitan province, including our central business district and we ensure that we build smart cities. There is a Development Control Act which is under the Urban Council Act, local authorities are mandated to ensure law and order, and if you build your shacks on the land which has not been designated, council will not be liable for your loss because you have gone onto land which you have no ownership lease or tittle to.”
Chitungwiza mayor Lovermore Maiko said: “The issue is about bringing law and order in our local authorities in the informal markets by trading from legal spaces.”