Bulawayo City Council

THE Bulawayo Vendors and Traders’ Association (BVTA) has called for dialogue between Bulawayo City Council (BCC) and informal traders before the local authority deploys municipal police officers on illegal vendors selling their wares in the central business district at night.

BY TALENT GUMPO

BVTA co-ordinator, Michael Ndiweni said the move to launch night raids on vendors would result in violent clashes.

“The city council must come up with a more cordial way of solving the matter of the increasing number of night vendors. Introducing night patrol security personnel is overboard, we know what happens when municipal security and vendors clash. This will not solve the situation,” he said.

“Communication is the best way of dealing with the matter. Council must engage all concerned stakeholders and reach common ground.”

Ndiweni said the local authority must devise a system where they benefit from night vendors, instead of driving them away.

“BCC can also come up with a system to get night vendors paying licences; dialogue is the only solution to the problem. There are outcries all over the country over stampedes that happen when security personnel are deployed to ‘deal’ with vendors, but that has never yielded results, it will not work”, he said.

Ward 1 councillor, Mlandu Ncube recently disclosed that the local authority was considering night raids on vendors.

The city has complained over the number of unlicensed vendors, with the latest full council minutes showing that less than 2 000 out of 7 000 vendors renewed their licences in December last year.

Councillors have also raised concern over the amount of litter generated by vendors all over the central business district, but efforts to drive them away have been met with resistance.