….as council moves to improve conditions at shanty market
MASVINGO - City of Masvingo Housing and Community Services director Levison Nzvura has said council will no longer allow free reign at Chitima market, and is designing a plan to allocate stalls to identified individuals who will regularly pay rentals to council.
In 2015, council lost much control of the shanty market following politicised protests by informal traders who felt council was milking them dry by collecting daily fees without improving facilities.
In an interview with TellZim News, Nzvura said council was now moving to regularise business at the market and come up with a database of people who will be allocated market stalls.
“We have been unable to keep track of the exact number of people doing business there because there is no consolidated database of traders. People come and occupy a stall for a day or two and then go away. Nobody pays for the bays except for a few so council is making huge losses there,” said Nzvura.
He said despite not collecting much in terms of revenue from traders at the market, council was still providing water, removing refuse and maintaining the toilets.
“We have done a lot to make sure conditions there are good but sometimes the people themselves make a mess of their own market. People use the strangest of objects in the toilets leading to blockages, and it’s council that has to unblock them despite that most of the very same people do not pay anything to use the market,” said Nzvura.
He said council expected to complete the rationalisation of the clothing section of the market first before moving on to the vegetable side.
“There are about 700 bays there and we want to know who owns which bay so that we can make follow ups in terms of rentals. We will then use the money collected to improve facilities and put a good shade starting with the vegetable section. We want a proper market where people can go and shop with confidence,” said Nzvura.
He encouraged market users and members of the public to contribute to cleaner surroundings by avoiding littering and illegal dumping of garbage.