Home » Governance » We Won’t Move, Vendors Tell Harare City Council

SCORES of vendors in Harare have rejected plans by the Harare City Council to relocate them to new vending sites, citing exorbitant prices charged by land barons.

The planned relocation is ostensibly aimed at ‘bringing sanity to the sunshine city’.

On Monday Harare city council and some vendors’ associations announced in a statement that beginning 2 January next year, vendors who operate from pavements and open spaces in the city would be asked to move to the 11 vending sites managed by the local authority.

This comes as the Harare City Council desperately intensifies efforts to curb congestion in the central business district.

However, lamenting the high prices charged by land barons Keith Charumbira, coordinator for Harare Residents Association (HARA), said the high rates charged by the land barons who are in charge of the sites deter over 100 members of his organisation from relocating to these new vending places.

“We cannot manage to pay $8 dollars per day to the land barons when we can pay $3 to the City Council. Our duty is to empower disaantaged youth and women and not the land barons.

“We cannot be found enriching land barons at the expense of the poor,” charged Charumbira who is also chairperson for the Harare Livelihood Program.

Often time residents have blamed the city council authorities of working in cahoots with land barons to defraud citizens of their hard earned cash.

Gamuchirai Chipungu, a vendor from Mbare who sells her wares opposite town house, said she and other members from her organisation were not going to move from their current site, complaining of lack of toilets and limited space at these places.

“We will not move from this place to the so called new sites. This place is most convenient to us and our clients.

“Besides being a strategic place the place is spacious unlike the so called designated places which have no toilets,” said Chipungu.

Approved vending sites in the central business district include ChinhoyiSamora Machel, OK Cameroon, SpekeCameroon, Park Street, George Silundika, SpekeCameroon, Market Square, Julius NyerereKenneth Kaunda, Charge office and Fourth Street.

Source : New Zimbabwe