ZANU PF-aligned vendors who recently invaded Fifth Avenue in Bulawayo and allocated trading bays amongst themselves are accusing the City of Bulawayo of corruption.
The ZANU PF Nehanda district chairperson Josiah Mutangi popularly known as “uMoses wabantu” confirmed that they had taken over Fifth Avenue. He said:
We had appealed for vending bays from the council and followed proper procedures for acquiring vending bays, but the council went on to parcel bays to their people.
Why can’t the council open public toilets considering that we have disabled people in our midst who cannot afford to pay for toilets?
We do not want to be on Fifth Avenue forever, but the council should look for an alternative for us.
Mutangi said what they did was not illegal and he accused people allegedly associated with the council of selling dangerous drugs around the area.
He also said there were more than 7 000 vendors in the CBD and council officials had a team of agents collecting rentals on their behalf on a daily basis. Said Mutangi:
There are council agents collecting the “Hlalani kuhle” money between 12 and 1 pm and between 3 and 4 pm every day making it a total of US$2 a day. When one fails to pay, there is a fine of US$11,50.
Bulawayo deputy Mayor Mlandu Ncube denied Mutangi’s claims that council agents were collecting money from vendors. He said:
We have tried to remove illegal vendors from Fifth Avenue, which is not a vending area. We are working on a strategy to deal with them.
There are no council agents collecting money from vendors. All payments are done at the Revenue Hall.