Mutare to deploy municipal cops for night patrols
MUTARE — A resurgence of vendors in the eastern city has forced the local authority here to contemplate the deployment of municipal police after working hours.
Mutare mayor, Tatenda Nhamarare, confirmed the development indicating that council police was up to the task.
“Our position on vendors is still the same and that’s why you see our municipal officers in running battles with illegal vendors every day,” he said.
“If this continues, we can always find ways of resolving the issue and in this case we can even propose to deploy our municipal police during the night,” he said.
It is estimated that there are over 2 000 vendors operating in and around Mutare’s central business district and an even larger number in the high density residential suburbs.
“We have already allocated an area for vending. There is a flea market close to Chidzere Bar in town. That area is big enough to cater for all the vendors. But unfortunately it appears some do not want to trade at formal structures provided.
“As a local authority we can only look for another trading area for vendors if there is tangible proof that the existing area cannot accommodate all the vendors,” he said.
The sharp rise in the number of vendors across the country, in general, has been attributed to the collapse of the economy that has seen many companies closing down, throwing thousands out of employment.
Many firms have closed down in the past decade in Mutare with the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, in its 2014 provincial report, indicating that the eastern border city recorded the closure of 10 big firms as well as a host of other smaller manufacturing companies.
An estimated 30 000 people who lost their source of livelihood have since been forced into the informal sector. By Kenneth Matimaire
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