Council pounces on vendors

20 January 2017

Municipal Police and ZRP patrol in city streets confiscating vendors goods (1)

THE Harare City Council on Wednesday started pouncing on illegal vendors who had vowed not to take heed of the call to stop operating from undesignated spots.

Council says because of the typhoid outbreak, they had decided to make the drastic measure to ban all illegal food vending.

“The operation is on; we will continue to act until we bring sanity in the City of Harare.

“Our municipal police with the help of the ZRP are working flat out to ensure that they bring order in our city,” said City of Harare spokesperson Michael Chideme.

On Wednesday Municipal Police and ZRP could be seen in lorries; moving around the central business district, confiscating vendors’ goods.

It seems the day belonged to the cops, as vendors could be seen scouring for safety with their goods, while the municipal cops were in hot pursuit.

For a moment, it seemed the municipal cops had finally get rid the streets of vendors, only for the latter to return at the end of the day.

But the Harare City Council has vowed the operations will continue “until sanity has returned in Harare.”

Last week the Harare City Council had made announced a 48 hour ultimatum banning all food vending but it seemed the ban had been ordered.

And when all hope seemed to have been lost, Chideme had said, “we are finalising logistics on deployment of enforcement.

“ZRP is coming in to assist us to implement by-laws.”

In a statement issued by the acting Town Clerk Josephine Ncube, she said “in light of the current outbreak of typhoid in the city circumstances on the ground have forced us to take drastic measures to contain the spread of the disease.

“Preliminary investigations have shown that the key drivers of typhoid and any 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.

“There are issues that we can immediately control/regulate to ensure that we contain the spread of typhoid. One of these is street vending. We are therefore issuing a 48 hour ultimatum to all illegal food vendors operating within the Harare Metropolitan area to cease operations temporarily forthwith. The ban will be reviewed depending on improvements on the ground.

“The ban also covers general vending at illegal sites. Pushcarts used in the Central Business District will be impounded during the exercise. Impounded fruits, meat, maize, fish and vegetables will be destroyed.

This action is being taken with the interests of the majority at heart. We are invoking the Public Health Act for the public good.

“We are aware of the fierce backlash that we will receive from the vending public but our actions are in the public interest,” said Ncube.

She added that they will be carrying out “publicity campaigns to educate the public on the action we are taking and encourage the vending public to go to designated sites.”