Blessings Chidakwa-Municipal Reporter
Harare City Council has come under spotlight amid revelations that it is now almost two years with the authority struggling to complete the much hyped Coca-Cola market .
The informal traders market, set to accommodate between 1 000 and 1 600 vendors, was initially scheduled to open mid 2019 but since then it remains incomplete with the council apportioning blame on lack of funds.
Only a few touch ups are required to finish off the project including flooring the stall and roofing less than five metal sheets, but the local authority seem to be reluctant to invest in it despite the top bosses allegedly splashing millions on luxurious stuff. With the demolition of illegal structures around that area, calls are growing louder for the completion of the structure.
Even frequent tours at the corner of Seke and Dieppe roads, commonly referred to as the Coke Corner, by Government and council officials over the past two years seem to be failing to yield any positive results.
A visit by The Herald showed that nothing had changed as there were no work going on.
In fact, the situation had worsened with weeds having spread across the place.
In March last year, Harare city council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme indicated that completion depended on the developments on Covid -19 while early this year he said lack of funds was stalling the project.
When contacted last week, Mr Chideme sang the same hymn that “resources were being mobilised for completion.”
The vendors at the site are operating from makeshift stalls made of plastic and wood, which expose them and their customers to the vagaries of the weather.
Over the construction, period the site has been housing multiple functions.
Driving schools have invaded the place using it for conducting lessons.
Apostolic sect members have also turned part of the area into a ‘holy’ shrine.
A vendor operating at the site Mr Tinashe Kusengwa blamed council for taking a laid back approach in completing the structure.
“We have been operating here for years now and since the council promised to construct the stall, nothing has materialised,” he said.
Mrs Tariro Kufanesu said: “Last in the rainy season we had torrid time at the temporary sheds and we are pinning our hopes that it will be a different case this time around.”