Organizers of this year’s Harare International Carnival will face an uphill task of managing the bloated number of vendors who have since taken over the central business district of Harare, amid fears that their business could interrupt the festival’s street party.
City of Harare, in partnership with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), has come up with temporary measures to contain vendors including setting up proper vending stalls along busy roads such as Robert Mugabe but it remains to be seen if this will work considering that previous attempts to clear them from the CBD have resulted in serious clashes.
ZTA Chief Operations Officer, Givemore Chidzidzi, while officially launching the festival, admitted to the fact that vendors operating in the CBD are their biggest challenge.
According to Chidzidzi, the organising committee is planning to organize temporary structures for vendors during the carnival.
“We cannot ignore that we will be faced with vending challenges during the festival, but there is a better way of dealing with the issue. Big Time Strategic Group (sponsors of the Carnival), have something arranged.
“We might have proper vending stalls where the vendors will be located so that they do not interfere with proceedings.
“We are going to organise something so that there is harmony within the central business district come the festival time,” said Chidzidzi.
The popular festival’s main route into the central business district is Robert Mugabe street.
The one-way street, which stretches from Rekayi Tangwena at the Harare Exhibition Park through to Eastlea has the highest population of vendors especially in the CBD.
To add to the chaos, commuter omnibus crews seems to have taken over the street establishing undesignated pick up points at every intersection along the street.