MUTARE – A local councilor has poked fun at ZANU PF as he denied the presence of vendors despite their flooding of the main street.
Vendors have been slowly creeping up Hebert Chitepo despite government’s directive that all street vendors should vacate the streets in all urban areas.
Councilor for Ward 14 Blessing Tandi made this remarks on the sidelines of an ongoing technology project to enhance service delivery and communication between municipality and its stakeholders.
The project Mutare City Dialogue and Technology for Accountability (MDATA) saw the setting up of a SMS hotline platform where residents will send messages for a nominal fee to city fathers.
The outspoken councilor said people should be left in the street as he responded to queries of how city council was proposing to deal with the issue.
Tandi said vendors were Zanu PF supporters and should therefore be left in the street.
“Takongonzwa ma vendors achitaurwa kuHarare kuno hatimboazivi chii chinonzi ma vendors? (We just heard of vendors being talked about in Harare we don’t know them here. What are vendors?)
“Ma vendors vanhu vakanga vari kuAerodrome vachiti pamberi ne Zanu PF (Vendors are people who congregated at Aerodrome chanting Zanu PF slogans –when presidents addressed a bumper rally in the run up to the 2013 elections)
“Vanhu ngavatengese handiti ndizvo zvamaitaura here kuMarondera kuti vanhu ngavatengese pese pese handiti nyika ndeyedu yakasunungurwa navaMugabe saka regerai vanhu vatengese.
(Let the people sell just like they were saying in Marondera that people should sell anywhere. The country is ours and it was liberated by President Mugabe so let the people sell their goods)” he said.
Mutare City Council had tentatively identified the open space at Chidzere Bara as a possible site for vendors to use but the vendors remain adamant they want to be closer to their customers.
One vendor who spoke to 263Chat on condition of anonymity said they were not ready to move from the streets because they were getting their livelihood from the streets.
“Isu tirikuponera muna main saka zvekunzi endai kuChidzere ipo pasina kana structure hazviite. (We are getting our livelihood from the streets so for Council to tell us to go to Chidzere where there are no structures is impossible)
“Tinoda kuuya pedyo nevanhu saka tichigara mu street kutostavaga kurarama,” (We want to be nearer to the people that’s why we are on the streets. We are looking for a means of survival),” said the vendor.
Vending on Main Street has increased visibly over the last month, despite residents having been granted that weekends are ‘free for all’. However residents now come even during the week to sell their wares as City Council charges a dollar per day from the vendors.