Mayor blasts Zanu PF ‘space barons’

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni has taken a swipe at Zanu PF “space barons” for hijacking the current registration of vendors and conducting the exercise in a partisan manner.

BY Edgar Gweshe

Manyenyeni

Manyenyeni’s remarks followed concerns by the National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) that the majority of their members were being sidelined while those affiliated to Zanu PF were being given first preference.

Some vendor unions such as the Queen of Grace ZimAsset Trust and Grassroots Empowerment Trust have been fingered in the partisan registration of vendors, in a development that has turned the whole process political.

“I am very much concerned about those reports. We are against that and we do not want it to continue,” Manyenyeni said.

“The registration of vendors is in the hands of the council and if there is anyone who is doing that, they are illegal space barons. That is unlawful.”

He made the remarks in an interview on the sidelines of a convention organised by the Harare Metropolitan Residents’ Forum to deliberate on the issue of social service delivery in the capital. The convention, held under the theme Towards Improved Service Delivery in the Harare Metropolitan Province. Enhancing the Role of Women and Youths brought together residents’ associations, government representatives and local councils.

Manyenyeni said rowdy political activists had hijacked the exercise for self-enrichment purposes.

The registration of vendors follows a June 26 ultimatum by the government for vendors to vacate the central business district.

“We do not want this kind of situation in which someone would want to take advantage of this (registration) process to enrich themselves. This is supposed to be a transparent process that is under the control of the council,” he said.

Manyenyeni added that the ongoing land invasions in Harare, being perpetrated mostly by Zanu PF activists was a threat to the growth and development of Zimbabwe’s capital.

He, however, warned aspiring home-seekers to be on the watch out for bogus land sellers.

“It is unfortunate that people are falling to the tricks of these individuals so easily. We are saying that people should follow proper procedures when acquiring housing land,” Manyenyeni said.

On another note, Navuz director Samuel Wadzai said there was need for dialogue to deal with the partisan manner in which the registration of vendors was being done, adding that the forcible removal of vendors from the streets would be resisted.

“We are saying that the authorities need to dialogue with the vendors. We are also saying that there is no need for the government to send soldiers to remove us from the streets because as vendors, we are ready to protect our interests,” Wadzai said. – NewsDay 

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