HARARE VENDORS DEFIANT | Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and municipal police yesterday maintained a strong presence in Harare’s central business district as they continued with their clampdown on vendors.
Police last week started clearing the capital’s streets of vendors and pirate taxis after President Robert Mugabe complained of chaos in the CBD.
On Thursday police deployed water cannons at various strategic places, including MDC-T headquarters in anticipation of a backlash from vendors.
Although there were pockets of resistance from vendors on Thursday, yesterday police maintained a strong presence that kept many at bay.However, Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (Viset) leader Samuel Wadzai said they would not be intimidated by police’s presence.
“Viset would like to congratulate it’s members and all who defied these intimidation tactics by the government and turned out for work,” he said.
“This is the time for vendors to show unity and resilience in the face of these childish acts of provocation by the government and the message is that, we are not leaving the streets until adequate vending sites with all the facilities including ablution facilities are created.”
“In the meantime, we are consulting with our lawyers with a view to approach the courts to seek an interdict to stop this wanton attack on livelihoods.
“We wish our four members who were injured on Thursday a speedy recovery and an unconditional release of the five who are still being held at Harare Central [police station].”
MDC-T condemned the raids, saying the government must first provide jobs before turning against vendors.
“Vendors are not the problem. The problem is Robert Mugabe and his clueless and corrupt Zanu PF regime,” the party’s spokesperson Obert Gutu said.
“Zimbabweans have got a patriotic obligation to ensure that at next year’s elections, the Zanu PF regime is totally removed from power, warts and all.”
Social movement Tajamuka condemned police’s move, saying they would fight in the vendors’ corner.