Harare City Council has said the Mupedzanhamo flea market in the Mbare suburb of Harare is now overpopulated due to high unemployment that has pushed citizens to informal trade.
Council spokesperson Innocent Ruwende said the local government authority would relocate some of the vendors from Mupedzanhamo to new sites. He told NewsDay:
Our plan is to relocate vendors to new sites. As council, we will only look at humanitarian issues such as sanity and other necessities at the marketplaces. We are aware that most people are now into vending because there is unemployment in the country. It is unfortunate that there are people who then go on to harass vendors, using politics to cover up for their criminal activities. Such situations are beyond our control and that is why you see the police coming in to ensure there is calmness in Mbare.
A few weeks ago, Ruwende said the council’s informal sector committee recently made a resolution to regularise some of the unofficial markets, a move that would provide a lasting solution whilst also benefiting the local authority.
He said the Small and Medium Enterprises committee recently toured prospective vending sites in Crowborough North, Mufakose, Glen View, and Sunningdale.
This comes amid conflict between ZANU PF and opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists over control of the market.
Chairperson of the Small to Medium Enterprises Committee Denford Ngadziore said Mupedzanhamo and Glen View area 8 were overpopulated hence the need for the city fathers to create 3 000 informal traders’ markets at Mbare and at Chishawasha markets.
He said the target was to create over 10 000 market spaces before March 2023.
Mupedzanhamo has the capacity to accommodate slightly above 1 000 traders.