Coun­cil en­gages ZRP on ven­dors

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nye­mudzai Kakore Her­ald Cor­re­spon­dent

HARARE City Coun­cil has en­gaged the Zim­babwe Repub­lic Po­lice to as­sist in re­mov­ing il­le­gal food ven­dors who defy the coun­cil’s di­rec­tive to stop sell­ing food as a mea­sure of mit­i­gat­ing the spread of ty­phoid in Harare, a coun­cil of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day.

The en­gage­ment of the law en­force­ment agency comes as the city on Tues­day is­sued a 48-hour ul­ti­ma­tum for all ven­dors to cease op­er­a­tions as it re­ported that 132 sus­pected cases of ty­phoid had been recorded, while 280 peo­ple had pre­sented them­selves for screen­ing.

Harare act­ing cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Mr Michael Chideme said once the modal­i­ties had been fi­nal- ised on how to re­move il­le­gal ven­dors, they will con­duct a crack­down tar­get­ing them.

Mr Chideme said coun­cil had al­ready moved in on il­le­gal meat and fish ven­dors pop­u­larly known as “ko­ta­mai butcheries”, who are pos­ing a health risk to fam­i­lies.

“We are fi­nal­is­ing lo­gis­tics on the de­ploy­ment of en­force­ment.

“The Zim­babwe Repub­lic Po­lice is com­ing in to as­sist us to im­ple­ment the city by-laws.

“Once we fi­nalise it, we will be mov­ing in to re­move all the il­le­gal food ven- dors from the streets,” he said.

Asked on mea­sures they will take if they face re­sis­tance, Mr Chideme said, “I don’t think there will be re­sis­tance as peo­ple un­der­stand why we are im­ple­ment­ing this mea­sure.

“It is a health mea­sure meant to pro­tect the ma­jor­ity.

“The thrust now has to change, peo­ple who buy from the streets have to stop buy­ing as they are putting their health and those of their chil­dren at risk.

“Let’s stop pro­mot­ing il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties and heed the call by health au­thor- ities who have seen the rea­son why we should re­move food ven­dors from the streets.”

Mr Chideme’s sen­ti­ments were, how­ever, dis­missed by some ven­dors’ lead­ers who trooped to The Her­ald say­ing coun­cil was solely re­spon­si­ble for the health haz­ards.

Harare Cham­ber of Small and Medium En­ter­prises chair­man Mr Tau­rai Marembo said coun­cil should en­gage them and find the best way for­ward or else they will face re­sis­tance from the ven­dors.

“Ven­dors are not re­spon­si­ble for coun­cil’s fail­ure of col­lect­ing garbage or pro­vid­ing clean wa­ter for the res­i­dents.

“We are also not to blame for the poor drainage sys­tem.

“We should en­gage in di­a­logue on the best way pos­si­ble to con­tinue sell­ing as we are earn­ing a liv­ing out of that,” he said.

Queen of Grace Zim-As­set Trust spokesper­son Mr McNor­man Chi­tongo a fort­night ago said while they were con­cerned about the spread of ty­phoid, it was un­fair to sin­gle out ven­dors as the main cause.

Mr Chideme

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