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Government Urges Mutare City Council To Clear Illegal Vendors, Regardless Of Party Affiliation

Government Urges Mutare City Council To Clear Illegal Vendors, Regardless Of Party Affiliation

A high-ranking government official has called upon the Mutare City Council to take immediate action in clearing all illegal vendors operating on the streets and open spaces within the Central Business District (CBD), even if they claim affiliation with the ruling party, Zanu PF, as the situation has become increasingly uncontrollable.

During the official commissioning ceremony of Mutare City Council’s $3 million plant equipment, Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Advocate Misheck Mugadza, expressed concern over the proliferation of illegal vendors, commonly known as space barons, who exploit the party’s name to engage in unauthorized vending activities.

“I have witnessed that the issue of space barons in town is slowly getting out of hand. We have too many illegal vendors selling their wares at undesignated sites.

“I urge the Council to take action on them and where you meet those abusing the name of our party (Zanu PF) you should let us know, there are sacred cows because we want to keep the city clean and fight the spread of diseases,” said Mugadza.

Minister Mugadza emphasized the need for decisive action against these individuals, stating that their days of impunity were numbered. He urged the council to crack down on illegal vending and to report those misusing the Zanu PF name for personal gain.

In response to appeals from the City Council to address the issue of space barons, Mayor Simon Chabuka highlighted the challenges posed by these individuals, who often evade regulation by falsely claiming allegiance to the ruling party. Chabuka appealed to Minister Mugadza to intervene and assist in curbing the illicit activities of space barons.

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Acting Mutare Town Clerk, Blessing Chafesuka, cited dilapidated infrastructure and overcrowding caused by the exponential increase in informal traders as major challenges. He noted that informal traders often circumvent designated vending spaces, disadvantaging those who comply with council regulations.

Space barons have been reported to charge a daily fee of one dollar to traders seeking strategic vending positions with high customer traffic.

Andrew Humure, Zanu PF Manicaland provincial administrator, refuted allegations of party involvement in illegal vending activities, placing responsibility on the council to construct proper vending stalls near bus termini to accommodate traders.

Humure stressed the importance of providing temporary measures to support vendors, urging the council to consider their needs alongside those of commuters when designating bus ranks.

“Council should also take the blame. These people labelled as illegal vendors are trying to make ends meet, in an illegal way, according to the definition used by Council. I think those who are in the streets are following where money is.

“No vendor can wait for six months for the local authority to complete constructing vending stalls while not trading.

“Council need to come up with temporary measures and as a party we do not encourage our supporters to invade streets, but as you designate commuter omnibus ranks just remember that there are vendors also need to do business from commuters boarding these kombis and buses,” he said.

In summary, the call to action underscores the government’s commitment to upholding law and order in urban centers and ensuring equitable access to vending opportunities for all citizens.

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