Govt rules out army role in vendors’ relocation

Herald Reporters
The Zimbabwe National Army will not be involved in removing illegal vendors from the streets and no one has said the army will be called in, Defence Minister Dr Sydney Sekeramayi has said.

His comments follow claims by MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and sections of the private media which have been peddling false information that Government planned to use soldiers to enforce a seven-day ultimatum for vendors to move from the CBD to designated sites.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo on Monday directed municipalities to remove the vendors from the streets and pavements within seven days.
Govt rules out army role in vendors’ relocation
In an interview yesterday after addressing a rally in Kuwadzana constituency, Dr Sekeramayi said the responsibility to deal with the vendors lay with the ministries of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development.

“There will be no involvement of the army,” he said. “The responsibility is that of the ministries of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development and if there are problems they will go to the police.”

Addressing Zanu-PF supporters during the same rally, the party’s national political commissar, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, said vendors should heed the directive and move to designated areas.

“We are not saying we don’t want vendors in the city. All we are saying is that designated places should be put in place so that they can sell from there,” he said.

Cde Kasukuwere urged legislators and councillors to ensure there were enough designated places for vendors to avoid chaos.

He said they had noted with concern that there were criminals soliciting for money from vendors.

Cde Kasukuwere took a swipe at Mr Tsvangirai for inciting lawlessness by urging vendors to resist a lawful order.

In Chitungwiza, town council officials yesterday visited vendors at various undesignated sites pleading with them to move ahead of the Monday deadline.

Chitungwiza Mayor Clr Phillip Mutoti and his entourage, which included Town Clerk Mr George Makunde, town planners and vendor associations’ representatives, visited vendors in St Mary’s, Makoni and Zengeza areas.
Dr Sekeramayi
Speaking to vendors at Zengeza 2 Shopping Centre, Mr Makunde advised vendors obey the law and not wait to be moved by force.

““We want to restore order here in Chitungwiza. For those who do not have areas to operate from, we are here to find alternatives for you so that you avoid selling your goods on the pavements of supermarkets that pay rates. It’s only unfair to them.”

At OK Supermarket at Huruyadzo Shopping Centre in St Mary’s, Mr Makunde openly asked vendors operating just outside to leave, but they stayed put.

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