BULAWAYO City Council has put on halt its planned blitz on vendors operating in undesignated places in the city centre after the police advised that they are not ready for such a massive operation.
The blitz which was supposed to start on Wednesday last week was meant to remove vendors operating from undesignated places, those washing cars in parking bays, individuals repairing vehicles in sanitary lanes, buses picking and dropping passengers at undesignated places and those delivering farm produce on the streets among other illegal operators.
The council said the pending exercise which is meant to restore sanity in the city centre, can only be undertaken with the assistance of the police.
It is a fact that there is chaos in the city centre and this cannot be allowed to continue. Council, as advised by police, should however, ensure that when it conducts the clean-up exercise, it does not degenerate into violence leading to looting and destruction of property as has happened in the past.
It is the responsibility of council to ensure there is orderliness within the central business district and as such we fully support the planned clean-up exercise.
The obtaining situation whereby vendors are doing as they please cannot be allowed to continue.
Buses should only pick up and drop passengers at designated points and this is only possible when the council strictly enforces its by-laws.
This law of the jungle is a recipe for disaster hence council with support of the police should act fast to address the problem.
A few years ago Zimbabwe witnessed an outbreak of cholera in most cities and towns that claimed thousands of lives and we do not want a repeat of this.
Pavements within the CBD area should be cleared of vendors and no vendors should be allowed to operate in front of shops.
Agreed, the informal sector contributes significantly to the economic growth of a developing country like ours but this should not be a licence to operate in undesignated places.
Bulawayo City Council has come up with vending sites and vendors should move to these designated places and clear the streets.
It is the responsibility of councils to ensure that there is order in their respective cities and towns hence the planned move by BCC.
We are very cognisant of the fact that the informal sector is a source of livelihood for many families but vending should only be done at designated places.
The vendors, we want to believe, appreciate the consequences of disorderly vending especially within the CBD and will therefore not wait to be forcibly removed from undesignated places.