Harare central business district resembled a war zone yesterday as police continued to engage in cat-and-mouse chases with vendors and rogue commuter omnibus crews.
Trucks full of police details were patrolling the city all day, throwing teargas on pockets of suspected vendors running away from the law enforcement agents trying to push the illegal merchants out of the city to contain the cholera outbreak.
The virulent, stone-age disease has so far claimed 49 lives out of the over 6 000 reported cases.
There were several trucks, giving reinforcement to municipal police officers driving away the vendors as well as targeting commuter omnibus crews operating at illegal pick-up points.
Teargas contaminated the air, with innocent motorists and pedestrians being caught in the crossfire.
“The situation is very bad. I am now suffering from influenza due to the teargas,” one shop owner told NewsDay Weekender.
“There are always many trucks, numbering over five, patrolling in a convoy with police officers throwing teargas at any group of people they suspect to be vendors,” his shop keeper interjected.
Even commuters were not spared, with police throwing teargas canisters each time they found them waiting for kombis at undesignated sites.
“They (police) told us that if we go to undesignated commuter omnibus ranks, no kombis will come to those illegal pick-up points and they are also targeting us, forcing us to go to the designated pick-up points,” one commuter said.
The joint operation between the Zimbabwe Republic Police and municipal police is set to continue until the vendors have moved out of the streets, according to authorities.
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