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Zimbabwe Vendors Stone Municipal Police in Street Battles

Municipal police clash with vendors in Harare. (Photo: Thomas Chiripasi
Municipal police clash with vendors in Harare. (Photo: Thomas Chiripasi

Harare Municipal Police on Friday clashed again with street traders returning to their old vending sites as authorities intensified their crackdown on thousands of vendors in the city’s central business district.

Harare’s central business district today resembled a war zone as municipal police engaged in running battles with illegal street traders.

Council police, who were travelling in two trucks packed with stones, allegedly started throwing missiles at the vendors that immediately retaliated.

One of the vendors, Chenjerai Muzanenhamo, told Studio 7 he survived the stone attacks but lost an assortment of wares.

Another street trader, Johannes Muguwe, accused council of allocating market stalls to Zanu PF activists and some council officials only.

This was echoed by Shylet Chipenda who said government needs to address this issue by creating a conducive atmosphere in Zimbabwe for the generation of employment for millions of vendors.

Council spokesperson, Michael Chideme, denied that city police attacked vendors.

Chideme also dismissed allegations that his council was politicizing the allocation of market stalls.

The Harare City Council says it is not backing down on its vendor-relocation exercise saying it wants to bring sanity and order in the city.

But the illegal street traders say the newly designated vending sites have not been properly serviced, adding that there are no ablution facilities on those sites.

The crackdown on vendors has also spread to other towns and cities such as Marondera and Mutare.