Relief for vendors as famous Mupedzanhamo market set to reopen

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By Reason Razao

VENDORS operating at an undesignated space near Mupedzanhamo market in Harare have sighed a breath of relief following an announcement that their official vending site will be reopening soon.

Mupedzanhamo was closed at the height of Covid-19 more than 3 years ago.

Efforts to reopen the facility have been characterised by clashes as the struggle for control between the ruling party Zanu PF and Citizens Coalition for Change  (CCC) resulted in months of endless violence.

Following pronouncements by Secretary of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Tafadzwa Muguti, that the flea market would be opening again before Christmas, most vendors expressed optimism of a better ending to the year and a revival of their hard hit field.

“We are relieved, we have been illegally selling our bales and we often had troubles with the authorities saying the areas were not designated,” said Locardian Munyuki, a vendor who was selling her bale close to Mupedzanhamo.

Tafadzwa Muguti

She added that due to violent clashes that left one confirmed death, her sales had gone down since most of them were forced to sell while dodging stone missiles that were flying from both ends of the political spectrum.

“The past few months have been difficult for us. We incurred losses because of the violent clashes and now we can resume our businesses within the confines of the law.”

Another vendor, Tariro Moyo, said her vending activities sustain a family of four and she hoped that the reopening will not be marred by more skirmishes ahead of a potential productive period.

“I have children that I send to school through selling second hand clothes. I just hope the tables will be properly allocated and managed without any politicisation,” she said.

“This festive season may actually help to revive our dying businesses,” added Moyo.

“We welcome the move to reopen the market again after a long tug of back and forth. Our businesses are a hand to mouth type of business and for us to go for years without an alternative selling place was difficult to endure,” said another vendor who only identified herself as Mai Munya.

Following a site visit by the inter-ministerial technical team comprising the Office of the Minister of State, Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities, Local Government and Health ministry, the City of Harare and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on December 13, Muguti said plans were afoot to renovate and open Mupedzanhamo Market.