HARARE – Zanu PF hailed the clampdown on vendors dubbed “Operation Restore Order” which was instigated by former president Robert Mugabe after he complained about the chaos in the Central Business District of Harare.
According to the ruling party’s central committee report presented to the 2017 special extraordinary congress, the party hailed Mugabe’s stance on vendors.
“The department (Tourism) applauds…the former president’s intervention in ensuring that Harare regains its Sunshine City status by calling for the designation of proper vending sites and removal of vendors operating from undesignated sites,” the report reads.
According to Statutory Instrument 108 of 2016, Harare (Cycle Licensing) by-laws, pedal cycles, hand carts and animal drawn carts can operate freely upon obtaining a license.
This comes as vendors have begun trickling back into the CBD following the fall of Mugabe.
Thousands of street vendors are refusing to enter the newly-built flea market, being constructed at Corner Cripps Road and Seke Road, saying it was not built at a strategic location and they would lose business.
The flea market is located on the outskirts of the city but the vendors say they do brisk business selling their wares on the streets and from shop fronts.
Recently, the Harare City Council spokesperson Michael Chideme warned vendors against giving space barons their money as protection for trading in the city centre.
“There have been false claims by some associations that the city’s move to install tents was designed to remove vendors from their legally allocated spaces.
“All legal and registered traders will remain on their allocated spaces. The city tents are designed to protect the people against profiteering by individuals fronting associations.
“Vending fees paid to individual space barons and associations are never invested back into the development of the vending sites, hence the decision by council to ensure that all vending fees are paid directly to council,” he said.
Chideme said perishable foods confiscated by the city during the operation will be destroyed while confiscated push carts will also be smashed and the metal recycled.
Since the clampdown on vendors started after Mugabe complained about the chaos in the CBD, thousands of dollars’ worth of wares have been confiscated and destroyed by the council officials.