Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Grace Mugabe Inspires Vendor Lawlessness

VENDORS have invaded the city of Masvingo by occupying every corner and any open space they find virtually reducing the city into one huge flea market.

The vendors who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com said they were encouraged by First Lady Grace Mugube who during her ‘meet the people’ rallies, warned the police against arresting vendors and cross boarder traders.

Speaking in the city about three months ago, Grace said the vendors were operating in line with the ZimASSET, the country’s economic blue print which seeks to empower the majority.

Emboldened by this the vendors deserted the areas designated for their business and moved into spaces of their own choice where they are not obliged to pay any fees.

A quick survey revealed that a designated place, located at the rear end of the town popularly known as “Chitima”, and one of Masvingo’s biggest market places, has been reduced into a pale shadow of its former glory.

As a result residents are now finding it difficult to walk as streets are now flooded with vendors while the council which charges $2 per day per vendor is losing revenue.

But the vendors expressed their happiness saying business was flourishing in the city center.

‘The problem at Chitima was that we had no customers coming anymore and we ended up working for the $2 fee. We have only been selling in town for two weeks and we’ve realised that we are making a profit,’ said Sharon Mhlanga.

‘These days no one comes to Chitima even to ask for tomatoes so we have decided to come to sell our stuff here in town where the customers are and we have an aantage that in town we don’t have to pay the $2 fee,’ said one woman.

However the council has not yet taken any action and council officials said they were aware of the situation but could not act as a result of the stance taken by the police not to arrest vendors.

“We used to do combined operations with the police but since they were given the order not to arrest vendors as council we cannot do

anything about it, although we have by laws which need to be enforced,” said Masvingo deputy mayor Darlington Chiwara.

Source : New Zimbabwe

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