By Michelle Makunike
Gweru– Informal traders at Mkoba 6 shopping center are crying foul over the conduct of some Gweru municipal police who are evicting them from their temporary markets bay.
The municipal police and council workers last week approached the vendors and ordered them to evacuate the place saying the Covid-19 pandemic is not over.
Vendors who spoke to this reporter alleged that previously the same team came and collected US$1 from each vendor without issuing any receipt for the payment.
“A team of council workers and police recently evicted vendors from their market spots at Mkoba 6 shopping center saying Covid-19 pandemic was not over.
“Fortunately the informal traders here are united and they refused to be used. These guys were used to their old tendencies of collecting money from the vendors whenever they want.
“Enough is enough we are tired of being abused. In Mkoba they have met a strong resistance from vendors because we know the law.” she added.
Public Relations Officer, Vimbai Chingwaramusee said the old vending sites were undergoing renovations and due completion towards the festive.
“The vending marts will be complete by the festive season. No directive was given to clear the vendors to go back as all informal traders are still operating at their temporary sites. We greatly condone the behavior by such individuals.
“We don’t condone corruption. If bills are paid a receipt should be issued and such acts should be reported. We therefore urge the vendors to come and register for the new markets.” said Chingwaramusee.
Gweru United Progressive Residents and Ratepayers Development Association (GUPRARDA) Director, David Chikore said as a resident’s movement they received complainants from vendors who were worried over the conduct of council.
“Yes we received reports that vendors were being chased at Mkoba 6 shopping centre were they are temporary working from while waiting for the completion of their vending marts which are currently under renovations. So according to the reports vendors said they were told that coronavirus was now over and they were supposed to go back to their old trading places as the Mkoba 6 site was illegal.
“What’s worrying is the council placed these people there. We even heard that from Monday they came collecting bills of $US1 from each vendor saying they were operating legally and suppose to meet their bills obligations.
“So as a local authority they must clarify this issue and tell us were the vendors are supposed to go and really if the Covid19 pandemic is not over. Recently during the state of the nation address the mayor said within the coming 2-3 months the renovation of the stalls was due to be complete and two months is not yet over, so who gave such a directive of clearing vendors.” added Chikore.