Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Ignatius Chombo insists that vendors be flushed out of Harare central business district (CBD)

HARARE - Ignatius Chombo, the Local Government minister yesterday insisted that all illegal vendors be flushed out of Harare central business district (CBD), in a move he said was aimed at restoring the capital’s sunshine status.

Officiating at a Harare CBD clean-up campaign, Chombo said the time for illegal vending was over and vowed that his ministry would work hand-in-glove with the city council to remove all illegal vendors.

“There should be no vending on road pavements, traffic intersections, road islands, middle of the roads and in front of shops and offices,” he said.
Ignatius Chombo insists that vendors be flushed out of Harare central business district (CBD)
“The time for action to ensure that all informal traders and kombi operators adhere to the city by-laws has come.

“I urge all of you to move to designated vending sites as well as pick and drop points for kombis designated by the city council.”

Asked to comment on the angry reaction by the National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) on his decree, Chombo retorted: “A city is government by by-laws.

“Everyone should follow these by-laws. No one is above them.”

Navuz on Tuesday let rip at Chombo, branding the minister a selfish day-dreamer out of touch with reality.

Navuz said Harare CBD can only accommodate 6 000 vendors but currently there are 20 000 informal traders crowding road pavements, traffic intersections, road islands and middle of the roads.

The Local government minister said only 6 000 vendors would be allowed to trade in the city and the rest would be shunted to townships. “I am instructing Harare City Council to engage property owners to spruce up their buildings with immediate effect,” he said.

“I need not emphasise that failure to do so may result in the closure of some of the unsightly buildings.

“Government is aware that times are difficult for everyone and that some owners have closed their buildings because of low returns.

“The City of Harare is therefore urged to engage the owners with a view of converting some of the structures into mini shops that can be used by the informal sector. In light of the above, I extend the warning to those illegal land occupiers in Harare,” he said.

“No one should settle on any piece of land without the express approval of Harare City Council or the ministry of Local Government.

“Illegal settlements have given rise to issues of flooding because some of the properties are blocking the free movement of rain water.

“This should be done in such a way that the city does not disrupt urban agriculture which of late is a source of livelihood for our urban population.”

Savior Kasukuwere, the Environment minister, who was part of the clean-up campaign, warned that his ministry would descend heavily on fast-food outlets using kaylites and advertisers who paste posters on walls and trees.

“Let me take this opportunity to warn all perpetrators of environmental offences that we will not be bystanders but actors in bringing environmental sanity and there are no sacred cows in that regard,” he said.

“As a ministry, we will use all the environmental statutory provisions at our disposal to ensure that a clean, safe and healthy environment is attained.”
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