BULAWAYO former deputy mayor Amen Mpofu has made a passionate plea to the city fathers to halt their raids on vendors saying the move is detrimental to the traders.
BY SILAS NKALA
Mpofu said once the traders are stopped from carrying out their business, which is their only source of income, it might affect council coffers as they will not be able to pay rates and other services.
Mpofu’s remarks came after the city council roped in the Zimbabwe Republic Police to carry out random raids on street vendors since December 1.
The vendors have, however, vowed to stay put saying street hawking had become their only source of living.
Mpofu said: “Yes, we need the city to be clean, but the council must dialogue with the vendors on how to go about it rather than harassing people who are trying to earn a living in a country where there are no jobs. After all, these raids are not monitored.
“There are no jobs, there is drought and people try to survive through vending, but someone just takes their wares like that.
This is a humanitarian issue and the whole thing started in Harare [of raids], why has Bulawayo adopted this evil thing? Do they think they will achieve positive results in this, No?”
Mpofu appealed to mayor Martin Moyo to intervene and stop the council officials from harassing vendors.
Bulawayo Entrepreneurs’ Association president, Isaiah Jonga, recently said the city council should rather provide bays where vendors can operate from because confiscating their goods would not solve anything.
But Moyo insisted that the vendors had been given adequate time to move to designated sites, adding his council would not backtrack on that issue.
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.