By Kelvin Kasiwulaya
Vendors have vowed to face Gweru City Council (GCC) authorities head-on if they continue to pile pressure on them to stop trading at Mtapa roadside and intersection, The Sun has learnt.
The resistance comes at a time when the local authority issued a notice ordering the Informal traders to stop operating at Mtapa roadside and intersection arguing that vending at the aforementioned sites was dangerous to both motorists and pedestrians.
In an interview, Midlands Vendors Association (MVA) Chairperson Angeline Zibanayi said: “In the meantime, our message is that we’re not going to leave the Mtapa roadside and intersection. Ultimatums and threats will only worsen the already precarious situation.”
“First and foremost, the council has no say at Mtapa Market, they have utterly failed to provide services at the market, we have no ablution facilities, we have no choice but to use Mtapa cemetery as our toilet and that is the main reason why vendors operate at the roadside and intersection ndipo pedyo nekutoilet.
Zibanayi blamed the council for failing to provide proper and decent vending sites.
Since 2015 council has failed to identify, designate and develop more vending sites to contain the influx of vendors in the street, if you look at the Mtapa market, the council erected 15 bays but we have 538 registered vendors at the market, which tells you a lot.
They should come here after they serve the market, if they don’t, we will operate from where we see suitable, she said.
Zibanayi went on to declare war on the city fathers if they continue to pressure vendors off the roadside and intersection.
“If they come here, I will not tolerate them., I have trained personnel that can take action against them, vendors won’t be intimidated by the municipal police or the Black boots we will continue to fend for our families, come rain, come thunder, she threatened.
Even more defiant are vendors like Fungai Gumbo, 32, a single mother of two operating at the Mtapa roadside.
“Let them bring the black boots. I will never leave my vending site unless the government moves me from here to a job in some industry because this is the only way I am feeding my children. I am the breadwinner and my bread is buttered on the streets,” she said.
GCC Public Relations Officer, Vimbai Chingwaramusee is on record saying the City still maintains its position that informal traders should move to designated trading bays
”As a local authority, we still maintain that we need informal traders to move to bays.
“There is resistance but we are in talks with informal traders’ associations to ensure that they move, ” said Chingwaramusee. # The Sun