…party promised 2.2 million jobs, created none
MASVINGO - The continuous influx of street vendors in all towns and cities in the country was caused by Zanu PF's failure to deliver on their promised 2.2 million jobs leading to the desperation characterised by desperate struggles to survive, City of Masvingo Mayor, Hubert Fidze has said.
Council last week launched a full scale assault on illegal vendors in the city centre to bring some order, with illegal vendors being ordered to go to designated sites.
Fidze said council was in a dilemma about the need to enforce the rules while maintaining a humane face in light of the struggles of the ordinary resident.
"The writing is there on the wall for everyone to see. Things are bad and most people do not have formal means of earning a living.
"While we understand that the people are faced with biting economic hardships, we have to maintain some order in the city. We cannot fold our hands and watch the city becoming a big flea market," said Fidze.
He pleaded with vendor representatives to come and negotiate terms with the city council so that the evictions can be done peacefully.
"We are doing our level best to engage the vendors through their leadership but the challenge is that not all the vendors are happy with this. There is a lot of resistance and it is very tough.
"Tampers and emotions are very high because people are desperate. A hungry man is an angry man. The economy is bad and nobody wants to be moved from the only place that gives them an income," said Fidze.
Overzealous municipal cops last Sunday escaped injury by a whisker after vendors and touts descended on them with stones after confiscating vendors' wares at old Croco Motors.
The municipal cops took to their feet with stones flying behind them and they sought refuge in their vehicle before speeding away.
One of the municipal officers was hit on the leg with an iron bar thrown by a visibly angry woman whose hoard was confiscated.
However, 'Chitima' market fruit and veggies section chairperson, Tarisai Katini breathed fire at the illegal vendors in the city centre saying she does not want to associate with them.
"I do not lead people who defy me. I only shepherd the flock here at the Garikai market and those in town should face the music because they chose to be there. It is the council's duty to make sure that these vendors are send to appropriate areas," said Katini.news