By Anna Chibamu
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has distanced his party from the condemned demolition of market stalls by the Harare municipal police in the city’s Mbare suburb on Sunday.
The Harare City Council is dominated by the main opposition party.
Taking advantage of the deserted area as traders are in their homes because of a government-imposed lockdown, council graders and caterpillars descended on Mbare’s illegal marketplaces and razed down structures and stalls.
The action was described as insensitive by observers who felt traders were already at a financial disadvantage, having spent the last three weeks away from their sources of income.
But Chamisa’s spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda said his boss and the Harare City Council had nothing to do with the demolitions.
“This is not council’s directive or work,” Sibanda said.
“Government is in charge and the mayors no longer have executive powers to make any decisions. This is cruel. MDC would never do that to its supporters.”
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) also condemned the acts.
“Only stupidity can lead a council or government to demolish sources of livelihoods without a plan on how to feed the nation during lockdown and post Covid-19 era.
“Mnangagwa and Chamisa, whose party is in charge of this thuggish act that is insensitive to the plight of the poor?” said ZCTU in a statement Sunday.
The acts were also condemned by Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET).