By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC), assisted by police and the army, has started disinfecting potential COVID-19 hot spots in the central business district using the infamous water cannon trucks often used to disperse violent crowds.
As part of the disinfection process, vegetable and fruit vendors who operate along the popular Fifth Avenue market were asked to clear their wares as well as clean their stalls and surrounding areas.
BCC officials, police and the army were deployed at the usually busy market to make sure that everyone complied.
Vendors who spoke to New Zimbabwe.com complained that they were given short notice to pack and remove their goods from the market.
“I was only told Tuesday evening that council will be spraying the market. I walked all the way from Cowdry Park to try to salvage my goods. A lot of my colleagues are going to lose their products because they are not aware of this spraying programme,” said James Gombe, a vegetable vendor.
The vendors will only start selling at the market after the national lockdown, which is expected to end 19 April.
“We were hoping that we are going to be allowed to sell our produce like what the fruit and vegetable vendors are doing in other towns and cities. President Emmerson Mnangagwa said vegetable vendors should be allowed to operate, but here we have been told to come after the lockdown. Our children are going to starve because we will not be able to earn anything while we are at home,” said Nathan Chitowa, another vendor.
A police water cannon disinfecting the streets of Bulawayo
However, many streets in Bulawayo’s CBD were disinfected using the police water cannons as the fight against the spread of the coronavirus continues.