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High Court Orders Police, Army to Stop Evicting Vendors

  • Chris Gande
  • Jonga Kandemiiri

The future looks bleak for these vendors at Egodini as the Bulawayo City Council has not yet found a suitable place to relocate them a few days before they vacate the Basch Street Bus Terminus. (File Photo)

The future looks bleak for these vendors at Egodini as the Bulawayo City Council has not yet found a suitable place to relocate them a few days before they vacate the Basch Street Bus Terminus. (File Photo)

A Harare High Court judge on Monday granted a consent order on an application filed by human rights lawyers representing some informal traders who sought to stop Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni from chasing away, evicting and confiscating goods belonging to informal traders or arresting them.

Chombo had set Monday as the deadline for unregistered vendors to vacate city streets or face forcible eviction by security agents, including the Zimbabwe national army.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the Zimbabwe Informal Sector Organisation (ZISO), also sought an order to interdict Sekeramayi, Chombo and Manyenyeni from threatening informal traders and wanted the defence minister to instruct the Joint Operations Command and other security service members to desist from "dealing" with the informal traders and not to interfere with their business activities in any way.

The order came after Small Enterprises Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni, had already announced the postponement of the evictions to June 23rd.

Justice Felistas Chatukuta did not disclose the full judgement but said the reasons would follow on a later date.

ZISO lawyer, Chris Mhike, told VOA Studio 7 they hope that all the ministers cited in the case and Manyenyeni will abide by the High Court ruling.

Harare city councillor, Peter Moyo, of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai said government is trying to pass the buck onto the council when it is failing to provide jobs for the people who have no choice but to go onto the streets.

Secretary general, Dumisani Ncube of the Bulawayo Upcoming Traders’ Association, noted that despite the reprieve illegal vendors won’t regularize their business.

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