Mayor says sympathises with vendors as council gears for stall demolitions

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By Staff Reporter

CHINHOYI mayor, Dyke Makumbi says he feels for vendors who are going to lose livelihoods during planned demolitions on market stalls in the town by authorities.

Chinhoyi had issued a 48-hour ultimatum to vendors who have put appendages of council structures “in open spaces, pathways and walkaways to remove them” to remove them by 29 April.

Authorities also warned residents who have built tuckshops or vegetable markets in their yards to also remove them.

The council clean-up exercise was planned for this Thursday, 30 April “for the purposes of renovating the market structures”.

In light of the development, Makumbi told Wednesday that the drastic measure was not a council but government directive.

“Councillors are policy makers, they don’t give directives. The directive has been addressed to all the town clerks in the country,” said the mayor.

“If council had alternative resources at hand, we would build more standardised vending places, to accommodate the affected.

“We really feel for those affected by the government directive.

“It’s not Chinhoyi alone, but it has affected every vendor countrywide. My advice is that government should reconsider its decision, because the timing is not conducive for the already struggling vendors and the economy at large.

“The exercise needs proper planning and enough resources for implementation. The move is going to condemn vendors to further poverty.”

However, it was not yet clear at the point of filing this report if authorities were still proceeding with the demolitions after the High Court Wednesday ordered a halt in the widely condemned clean-up exercise.