The current political impasse in the country has been a blessing to vendors who had endured hard times battling against police operation to restore order in the Central Business District (CBD) with many wishing if the situation could continue as it has given them a window to make money without any hindrance.
The ZRP who have taken a back seat and have literally been reduced to spectators of the political developments taking place, since the Zimbabwe Defence Force (ZDF) took control of the country have not been performing their law and order duties and this has resulted in the return of vendors on the streets en-masse.
In an interview with vendors on the streets of Harare, they expressed excitement at the prospects of operating without any interference from both police officers.
“We don’t want police on the streets again, they should be arresting robbers and thieves not us vendors who are trying to make ends meet out of our own sweat and the work of our hands,” said Mai Tapiwanashe, a fruits vendor along fourth street.
“Business has been up lately, no one is raiding my stuff and even on a low day I’m taking all my money home it’s not going to some corrupt officer and it’s all thanks to our army” added another vendor who spoke on condition of anonymity.
While other business operators are celebrating the absence of police, some are yearning for their return following what they say the degeneration of chaotic scenes on the streets.
“We haven’t been making good money because we operate in a designated area and with the police absence un-roadworthy vehicles are now piloting which is affecting us who adhere to the law,” said Brighton Mhembere a kombi driver who operates from Fourth street bus terminus.
A survey of Harare streets revealed that vendors and commuter omnibus operators have since returned to most undesignated points and this is in some cases causing traffic congestion and accidents.
This reverses the successes recorded since the police and City of Harare launched an operation to clear the CBD of unregulated operations such as vending and kombi pick-up points.
With negotiations for President Mugabe’s resignation still ongoing without any hindsight of when they will be concluded, Harare continue to suffer lawlessness as all police and municipality operations are on suspension.