By Costa Nkomo
ZENGEZA West MP and MDC Alliance deputy chairperson Job Sikhala Tuesday warned Chitungwiza Municipality not to proceed with its plans to dismantle all informal business in the town as the actions will be met with violence.
On Tuesday, Chitungwiza Municipality acting Town Clerk Evangelista Machona gave informal traders 72 hours to cease operations “along council and state roads servitude”.
“We are giving those conducting businesses illegally on roads servitude up to 72 hours to remove all your belongings,” she said in her statement.
“Failure to take heed of this statement, council will not hesitate to enforce measures. This statement is being issued in accordance with section 24 of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act.
“Please take this warning seriously to prevent loss of life and damage to property. Council shall not be liable for losses or costs in the event of damages to your property,” Machona said.
Targeted by the local council are informal businesses such as; car wash, motor vehicle sales, furniture making, vending markets among others.
However, Sikhala warned Machona to expect a vicious response from informal traders who will not take lightly threats to lose their source of revenue.
“I have seen a statement released by Chitungwiza Municipality signed by one, Evangelista Machona, threatening violence and bloodbath against our people in Chitungwiza who are involved in lawful business as stupid, uninformed and scandalous,” the outspoken politicians said.
“Evangelista Machona and those who have sent her should know that we don’t take lightly threats to kill our people. Threatening loss of life cannot go unnoticed. Openly declaring murder against our people will never be tolerated.”
“The people of Chitungwiza will organise themselves into cells to deck death threats. We are waiting for the municipality’s threats of loss of life with serious preparedness to protect our lives.”
Sikhala said Machona’s statement was utter nonsense given how Chitungwiza Municipality has failed to offer residents decent service delivery.
The majority of Zimbabweans have resorted to informal trading for survival as employment opportunities in the country continue to dwindle worsened by a deteriorating economy.