Street vendors in Zimbabwe’s Gweru Kudzanayi long-distance bus terminal have been told to vacate their stalls by the council in seven days.
Vendor’s representatives have accused chamber secretary Vaki Douglas Chikwewe of being the driving force behind the move.
Gweru Vendors Association chairperson, Lovemore Reketayi said that the structures had been there since 1973.
“Our members are telling us that the management at the council has Zanu PF stalwarts and is trying to frustrate the MDC councillors by harassing its supporters at the terminus,” said Reketayi.
“The so-called illegal structures have been there since 1973, so what is the fuss now. Chikwekwe now acts as if he is the Minister of Local Government himself,” he said.
Raketayi says Chikwekwe tried to enforce the move last week and they (Gweru Vendors Association) appealed to the Gweru district administrator Joram Chimedza who suggested that vendors be regulated and start paying.
“We have about 1 000 vendors in the rank and we proposed $3 a day, they can contribute $3 000 daily which is $90 000 a month.”
“That money can improve service delivery and even pay council workers who have salary backlogs, while at the same time making vendors who are unemployed feed their families,” said Riketayi.
Chikwekwe has allegedly refused to take that offer which has led the Association to appeal to higher offices.
Gweru mayor councillor Josiah Makumbe said that he would visit the vendors and hear their grievances before sitting with council management to resolve the issues.