By Nyemudzai Kakore
Harare City Council has started registering vendors and moving them to designated sites to allow for the free flow people and vehicles in the central business district (CBD). The city had previously registered over 30 000 vendors, but most of them had since abandoned their sites and moved back into the city centre.
The move comes after President Mugabe on Saturday bemoaned the vendor menace and lack of order in the CBD, saying Harare should be the smartest city in the country as it is the capital. The President said he had already engaged his ministers over the bad state of the capital. Harare corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said they had enough manpower to ensure compliance.
“We have started the registration of vendors and we will be moving them to designated places beginning tonight (yesterday),” he said.
“A new vendor registration programme began on Tuesday (this week) at the Housing and Social Development Department Offices along Remembrance Drive in Mbare. There will also be a registration desk at the corner of Speke Avenue and Cameron Street in the CBD,” he said. Asked on the vendors concerns that some vending sites were not located near their customers, Mr Chideme said: “Those are the best sites because they are well connected by road and have the required facilities. If the vendors go there, they will attract customers.”
The city has 14 official vending sites in the central business district and some of the approved vending sites are at the Holding Bay along Coventry Road/Rotten Row roads, the open ground near City Sports Centre, Tsiga open space in Mbare and the open space along Cripps Road. Julius Nyerere Way and Robert Mugabe Road, Harare Street, Simon Muzenda Street and Mbuya Nehanda Street have been turned into vending sites and are impassible, especially during the evening. Apart from blocking roads, the vendors have been littering the city, raising fears of an outbreak of diseases.