MDC: Govt using cholera crisis to brutalise vendors

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By Idah Mhetu

THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has accused the government of taking advantage of the current cholera crisis to address to brutalize vendors in the in central Harare.

More than three dozen people have died from the cholera pandemic with reported cases reaching over 5,000 countrywide.

In Harare, police have been engaged in running battles with vendors for much of this week as the authorities try to force the traders off the streets.

However, in a statement Friday the MDC demanded that government should halts “the police brutality against vendors”.

Party spokesman Jacob Mafume added that State interference in opposition-controlled local authorities disguised as cholera intervention must stop forthwith.

“The Zanu PF government’s obsession and decision to evict vendors from the city centre is barbaric contemptuous and disrespectful,” he said.

“It is not the solution to the problems bedevilling the city and the nation at large. “Government is simply using cholera as an excuse to victimise people in an attempt to achieve ill-conceived goals.”

The MDC party said it is against the idea of “blaming the victims for every calamity that befalls” the country.

“To make matters worse, the apparatus deployed to enforce the Zanu PF decision are confiscating clothes and electronic gadgets from vendors, merchandise that cannot in any scientific way transmit cholera,” said Mafume.

Vendors, he added, must be engaged and assisted to practice hygienic methods of conducting their business

 “Burst sewer pipes in Glen View are the source of the current outbreak,” said Mafume.

“It therefore must follow that the whole infrastructure of water and sanitation be overhauled and renewed.”