Police in Bulawayo has launched an operation to remove all pickup trucks being used for street vending, which are disrupting the smooth flow of traffic.
Bulawayo Metropolitan province police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube told New Ziana that so far more than 12 such trucks had been impounded during the ongoing operation.
“I cannot give the exact number off the cuff, but I saw more than 12 trucks parked at Ross Camp, which are supposed to be cleared accordingly,” he said.
Insp Ncube said owners of the stationery trucks, which were mostly found along Fife Avenue and George Silundika Street, will be selling farm produce including cabbages, tomatoes, onions, potatoes and oranges.
“Most streets were no longer trafficable because people were now doing business in the middle of the roads, particularly pickup owners who come in the morning to sell their wares and turning the roads into business centres,” said Insp Ncube.
He said the operation was targeting mostly pickup trucks, not vendors who were in designated places.
“The issue of vending marts is the responsibility of the council. As police, we are maintaining order on the roads,” he explained.
“We don’t have a problem with anyone doing business in the peripheries where it is designated. People should make sure the road is clear and passable thus the purpose of our operation, “he explained.
Insp Ncube also warned commuter omnibus operators who were disrupting traffic by picking and dropping people at undesignated places that the police would soon descend heavily on them.
“Bus operators and motorists know what is lawful. As police we are not there to negotiate about the law. Once we find someone parked, offloading, or loading at undesignated places, that person will be arrested. Operators should do their business legally and at the right places,” he said.
Motorists who spoke to New Ziana welcomed the move by the police, saying the pickup trucks were causing unnecessary congestion in the city.
“It was now a nightmare to drive in the city.
All the roads will be blocked by trucks selling their produce or merchandise in the middle of the road, causing unnecessary congestion, endangering pedestrians and other motorists,” said Clive Ncube from Nketa high density suburb. — New Ziana