BULAWAYO – Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has once again come under spotlight for its arrogance in selling farm produce at undesignated areas in the Central Business District.
For the better part of 2017, a prison truck selling, mostly, cabbages was a common sight in the city centre — a development that attracted scorn from vendor representative organisations in the city.
As a result, the matter spilled into the council chambers where the councillors demanded the prison services to adhere to the council by-laws.
“ZPCS was selling vegetables along 6th Avenue in undesignated area.
“There was need for them to regularise such activities. In response the director of Housing and Community Services explained that vending by-laws would be enforced.
“ZPCS was approached after vendors through their association approached council.
“They need to regularise their vending,” reads the latest council minutes in part.
This comes at a time the city fathers are battling to control illegal vending in the city, with those who are legally registered failing to renew their licences.
Vendor organisations have attributed poor economic conditions for their failure to renew their licences in town.
“In August 2017 the housing department had reported that only 436 out of a possible 7 000 traders had renewed licences for January to December 2017 and this was a cause for concern to council,” read the minutes.
Council reported that only 1 061 traders renewed their licences and paid their monthly rentals up to November 2017.
The council also reported that it has since unleashed enforcement on full operation in most parts of the city as they seek to curb illegal vending.
Part of the illegal vending that the city fathers said was a cause for concern was the presence of illegal foreign currency dealers who are allegedly blocking most of the busy streets and also the proliferation of some who are now selling goods from their car boots.