via Zanu PF youths attack council officials – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 3, 2015
ZANU PF youths trading their wares at Mupedzanhamo Market in Harare yesterday turned riotous and beat up council officials, who had been assigned to formally register all vendors operating at the marketplace.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Council spokesperson, Michael Chideme confirmed the clashes, but insisted that the local authority would not be stopped by anyone from discharging its duties.
“Our officers were attacked. Council would like to give a strong warning to individuals fanning violence and promoting disorder at all markets. We are buoyed by government’s support towards order,” he said.
“We are moving in to register all vendors in the city, issuing them with cards and to remove space barons from all markets. One vending stall per trader is what we are moving towards.”
Chideme said some individuals were trying to resist order, adding the resistance by Zanu PF youths will not deter them from working towards a world class city.
When NewsDay visited Mupedzanhamo in the afternoon, most roads leading to the site were congested, as chaos rocked the whole area after the clashes.
Witnesses said council officials had to flee for their lives with the Zanu PF youths hot in pursuit, and shouting obscenities at them.
Mbare councillor, Martin Matinyanya said he had warned council officials in a recent informal sector committee meeting against getting into Mbare and trying to deal with the vendors.
He said his advice fell on deaf ears.
Investigations by NewsDay showed that several stall holders at Mupedzanhamo were owned by Zanu PF officials, who have been collecting money for years without remitting it to council.
In 2009, council efforts to reclaim the market and restore sanity were resisted by the Zanu PF youths.
In February this year, Zanu PF youths occupying stalls at the market blocked a foreign investor from constructing a million-dollar shopping centre at the site.
NewsDay has it on good authority that a handful of Zanu PF top officials, some of them former ministers and MPs had more than a dozen stalls each, which they subdivided and leased to vendors for at least $350 a month.
Council charges $65 per stall, but was not receiving anything, as the money was being collected by Zanu PF-linked space barons.