Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni says Zimbabweans should work together to tackle a vendors crisis in urban areas that has become a serious health threat as littering has become the order of the day in all towns and cities.
Reacting to Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo’s remarks that local authorities should immediately remove vendors from urban areas as they are a health threat to city dwellers, Manyenyeni said the Harare City Council and other cities alone cannot address this challenge.
Manyenyeni, who attended the 73rd Urban Councils Association annual general meeting in Bulawayo attended by the minister, mayors and council chairpersons, confirmed Chombo’s remarks saying councils clearly understand that there is a vending crisis in the country which is posing some risks to urban dwellers.
According to the Harare mayor, Chombo told the meeting that all local authorities are required to immediately take necessary measures to remove vendors from undesignated sites to alternative planned vending points.
Chombo made these remarks a few days after Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko attacked able-bodied people he said sold tomatoes on pavements instead of doing something worthwhile in cities.
Studio 7 failed to reach Minister Chombo. But Manyenyeni, who concedes that vending has become a menace, said the issue should be handled properly since it affects many people’s livelihoods.
National director of the National Vendors’ Union Zimbabwe, Samuel Wadzayi, echoed the same sentiments noting that there is need to engage all-stakeholders in addressing the vending crisis.