There was chaos in Gweru Central Business on Monday as vendors and anti-riot police clashed following an ultimatum by the local authority for the vendors to vacate from all illegal selling points.
By Delicious Mathuthu
The day began calmly without any vendors on the streets but as the day progressed, they began trickling into the city.
Drama unfolded later in the day, as witnessed by 263Chat, at Patel’s Mega Mart at corner Main street and Leopold Takawira Avenue at around 1200hrs with vendors trying to resist municipality orders resulting in one male vendor receiving a thorough beating, which however did not go down well with other vendors who started to throw stones and barricading Leopold Takawira road.
The rogue and defiant vendors resistance also resulted in one Council Police Officer sustaining serious head injuries.
Later on, Council Police were reinforced by the Anti-Riot Police where several vendors were arrested and goods confiscated including several pushcarts.
The City Council through the Town Clerk Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza had given a stern warning prior to the events urging all illegal vendors to regularize their operations and those licensed to return to their designated selling bays.
“All vendors who have deserted from their legal vending bays should return to their bays by 22 October 2017.
“Council will confiscate goods that are being sold on illegal vending points without further notice. No push carts are allowed within the Central Business District including vehicles selling goods at undesignated areas. Such vehicles will be clamped without any further notice,” read part of the notice.
The blitz follows President Mugabe’s recent calls to get rid of vendors operating in the CBDs, which began in Harare, saying they should be given spaces on the outskirts to sell their wares.
Meanwhile, the Local Authority is planning on another blitz against residents with outstanding bills threatening to attach defaulters’ goods for auction.
“Notice is hereby given to all Gweru Residents and clients who have been served with summons and those who have outstanding bills to council, to urgently approach council and make payment plans on or before the 30th of November 2017.
“Those who fail to do so by the stated date risk attachment and auctioning of their valuables without further recourse to them. Residents are urged to take this notice seriously,” said Ms Gwatipedza.