Council, police pounce on vendors

Source: Council, police pounce on vendors | The Herald January 19, 2017

Innocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter—

Harare City Council in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Republic Police yesterday confiscated food items and pushcarts from illegal vendors as they carried out a blitz meant to control the spread of typhoid.

The raid followed defiance by the illegal food vendors who were given a 48-hour ultimatum to cease operations last week.

The food ban followed a typhoid outbreak, which claimed two lives in Mbare. There were running battles in the Central Business District’s Market Square and Copacabana terminus, between municipal police and the illegal food vendors when the former seized food stuffs and impounded pushcarts.

Food, such as fruits, meat, maize, fish and vegetables was confiscated and destroyed at the Harare Municipal Police Headquarters.

Illegal vendors trading in other wares were not spared as Council also pounced on them.

The blitz comes after an inter-ministerial committee last week pronounced a cocktail of measures to fight the spread of typhoid and other water-borne diseases.

The ministers of Health and Child Care; Local Government, Public Works and National Housing; Environment, Water and Climate; and Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development make up the inter-ministerial committee, which also includes Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni.

The city’s acting corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said the blitz was “a necessary evil” as Harare could not compromise the health of the majority of residents.

“The operation has started in earnest. We started our operation yesterday (Tuesday).

“Today, we have been joined by ZRP for support. The goods that you are seeing here are a testimony of the operation that we are carrying out,” he said.

“We are moving food vendors off the streets and all illegal vendors. We are urging all illegal vendors to go to designated sites and food vendors to respect the ban until further notice. We cannot take chances with people’s health.”

Preliminary investigations have shown that the key drivers of typhoid and other water-borne diseases are issues related to personal hygiene, unregulated vending of foodstuffs such as vegetables, meat, fish (cooked and uncooked) and inadequate water supplies.