Tuesday, 30 June 2015

We are not equipped to relocate vendors says Harare City Council.

Harare City Council lacks adequate resources to construct necessary support infrastructure at the 15 sites earmarked for the relocation of vendors, hence its failure to meet last Friday’s Government ultimatum for vendors to move to designated vending sites from streets, Deputy Mayor Clr Thomas Muzuva revealed yesterday.

Clr Muzuva said the city had not budgeted for vending infrastructure when it made its budget this year.

“If Government sets out deadlines, they (the deadlines) should be backed by funds. That is why we are struggling to meet the deadline Government set. It (Government) did not give us any funds,” he said.

“We do not expect these vendors to move to places where there is no infrastructure, including ablution facilities. We are pushing to implement the order with the little resources we have,” he said.
Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni flanked by his deputy Thomas Muzuva and Councilor Wellington Chikomo at Town House in Harare
The city has designated 15 registration centres, among them Harare City Sports Centre, Market Square, OK Cameron, Coventry Road Holding Bay, Charge Office and Tsiga open space in Mbare.

Political watchers yesterday said it appeared the MDC-T dominated Harare City Council was reluctant to implement the Government directive for political reasons.

What Clr Mazuva said dovetailed with what MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai said at the weekend at the Exhibition Park in Harare during his so called state of the nation address when he urged vendors to resist Government efforts to relocate them.

While vendors were visibly uncertain about occupying pavements yesterday morning, the city did not deploy its manpower to enforce compliance, leading to them venturing on to the streets later in the day.

Mr Tsvangirai over the weekend told supporters that his party would not allow Government to relocate vendors from the streets and MDC-T councillors appear to have heeded their leader’s call.

Said Mr Tsvangirai: “Let me remove any doubt from your minds, any attempts by the regime to mount a second Murambatsvina will be strongly resisted and the MDC commits itself to the protection of all informal business persons, their inclusion in our economy and to making it possible for them to grow and prosper.”

Harare City Council principal communications officer Michael Chideme yesterday urged the vendors who were registered to move to their respective vending sites or risk losing space.

“We expect those who were registered to immediately move to the sites they were allocated or we will allocate the space to other people,” he said.

However, town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi, said council had not failed to relocate vendors, but was waiting for all illegal vendors to be registered.

More than 3 000 vendors have registered with city authorities from those reportedly operating in the city’s central business district.

“We want to register everyone operating in the city centre first. Once we finish that process we will then move the vendors with cards to the sites they were allocated,” he said.

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