HARARE – The uniformed forces will be roped in to wipe out illegal activities such as vending, mushika-shika (pirate taxis) and money changing in local authorities around the country, Local Government minister July Moyo said yesterday.
He told a news conference that the unregulated selling of second- hand clothes and food, illegal transport operators as well as money changing had now rendered many urban centres hazardous jungles.
The address comes as Harare City Council municipal police were assaulted by vendors as they attempted to remove vendors from the Central Business District (CBD).
“We have put in place a monitoring committee composed of all security agents and the council here in Harare. We are urging all local authorities to set up such multi-disciplinary committees to ensure that vending is regulated and unwarranted transportation systems such as mushika-shika are controlled.
“We are also calling upon members of the uniformed forces to come and assist local authorities in bringing sanity in our CBD areas. I have contacted Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to inform him about this and to seek his assistance so that all security agencies can work with the municipalities so that we can put to rest this menace that is facing us,” Moyo said.
“Everybody is aware that in some cases the municipal police have limited powers of arresting and prosecuting and therefore people take advantage of that.
“The municipal police and our law enforcement agents put together will bring teeth to the exercise and make it sustainable.”
He warned members of Parliament and councillors undermining the drive to restore order to desist from doing so.
Moyo said the lawmakers should instead be part of the drive to restore order in their urban areas instead of soliciting for votes.
“These monitoring situations are not a once-off thing but will be permanently there to assist the councils and will not go away until we restore order.
“These task forces we are putting in place should not spare anybody who will not follow the by-laws of the municipalities,” Moyo said
Acting Harare town clerk Hosea Chisango said the city was improving all their vending sites and bringing up new ones.
Chisango said the city had been directed to complete all the construction works that they were carrying out at the sites.
“The assurance is all the vending sites have been improved and new ones are also coming up so that we can accommodate as many vendors as possible.
“There is, however, a limit to the number of vendors that the city can have so those are the number that we work with.
“The extras will be accommodated with time,” he said.