By NewsDay Zimbabwe
HARARE City Council says Mbare’s Mupedzanhamo flea market is now overpopulated due to high unemployment that has pushed citizens to informal trade.
Council spokesperson Innocent Ruwende told NewsDay that council would relocate some of the vendors from Mupedzanhamo to new sites.
“Our plan is to relocate vendors to new sites. As council, we will only look at humanitarian issues such as sanity and other necessities at the marketplaces. We are aware that most people are now into vending because there is unemployment in the country. It is unfortunate that there are people who then go on to harass vendors, using politics to cover up for their criminal activities. Such situations are beyond our control and that is why you see the police coming in to ensure there is calmness in Mbare,” Ruwende said.
A few weeks ago, Zanu PF and opposition Citizens Coalition for Change activists fiercely fought for control of the market.
Police had to barricade the area to instil sanity. The area is still closed.
“Our life is becoming miserable each day that passes since we survive on vending. For us, being barred from entering Mupedzanhamo means our families will starve,” a vendor told NewDay yesterday.
Vendors Initiative for Social Economic Transformation executive director Samuel Wadzai said: “The blame lies on council and central government. Remember they demolished structures during the COVID-19-induced lockdown period and promised that they would build structures for the vendors, but nothing has been developed so far. The clashes at Mupedzanhamo are due to that people are fighting for space.
“The problem is that council is corrupt. Vendors are paying fees to council, but they are misused. We expect council to use the revenue collected from vendors to uplift their livelihoods.”