THE opposition People’s Democratic Party has urged the Bulawayo City Council to suspend its raids on illegal city vendors and allow them to trade at undesignated sites until the economic situation has improved.
BY SILAS NKALA
The appeal comes shortly after council intensified its blitz on vendors in a bid to restore sanity in the city.
PDP Bulawayo spokesperson Fortune Mlalazi said the act of chasing around vendors in the city by the council was a serious threat to families livelihoods as most of them relied from vending to sustain themselves.
“We recommend that the council must simply suspend raids on vendors until the economy and food situation normalize as vending is their only source of living,” Mlalazi said.
“We also recommend that they must wait until the situation improves and the council must speed up the allocation of vending bays to the residents.”
He said with the current economic crisis and the drought that has already hit several parts of Matabeleland region, it would be inhuman for the local authority to continue chasing after vendors trying to eke out a living.
“How does the council expect people to survive and worse the schools are opening this week, people are not working; they also have no food because of drought,” he said.
“We recommend that the council licence vendors as this will help it construct more vending bays at the same time more revenue will be collected by the council.”
But the local authority has vowed to continue with its raids, insisting the vendors should move to designated sites.
Bulawayo has more than 6 000 unoccupied vending bays, which were deserted after traders noticed low customer volumes since the bays were located in secluded areas.