BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
A MEETING held between the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) and Zanu PF Bulawayo province on Thursday over the control of Fife Avenue vending bays, where the ruling party youths were allocating themselves trading tables, ended in a stalemate.
Early this week, the youths “seized” control of Joshua Nkomo and Fife Street in the city after clashing with illegal money changers commonly referred to as osiphatheleni, who used to occupy the area.
A meeting was held between the Zanu PF and BCC officials to resolve the impasse, but the negotiations were deadlocked, with the ruling party activists still occupying the street, Southern Eye established.
Mayor Solomon Mguni yesterday reiterated that Fifth Avenue was not a vending site and accused the ruling party activists of disturbing the movement of traffic.
“The problem with these people is that they call themselves Fifth Avenue vendors association, yet there is nothing like that,” he said.
“They are only coming now to occupy the road, disturbing the movement of traffic.
“That road has been gazetted as a public road. It is not a vending market.”
Mguni urged the Zanu PF activists to join existing informal traders associations or form their own organisation for consideration in the allocation of new vending bays by council.
“Now they are saying they have marked 250 bays and allocated people, who are they? They must join those associations or come forward with their association,” he said.
“They should look for another name, register it and come forward with their member.
“We will look at our audit and see how many bays it gives us around the city and we will allocate them.”
Mguni accused the Zanu PF activists of causing chaos in the central business district.
“You cannot have a vending association which claims to belong to a certain political party,” he said.
“We told them that we cannot agree on an illegality. We agreed that they should bring their register and create a proper vending association.”
Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairperson Obert Msindo claimed not to have attended the meeting when contacted for comment yesterday.
“I did not attend the meeting, let me find out who attended the meeting,” he said.
But council sources said Msindo was in attendance.
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