Zimbabwe is in a terrible state and people are trying to earn a decent living through vending but they should not take the law into their hands, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Mike Madiro said yesterday.
Responding to a question from Senator Jane Chifamba on the running battles between the police and vendors in the capital, Madiro said vendors should go to the designated sites because the police will not stop doing their work as it is the duty to maintain law and order.
Q & A
*HON. SEN. CHIFAMBA: Hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, we realise that there is a challenge in the city centre of running battles between the ZRP and vendors. I was also caught in a cross fire It causes confusion, what are you doing about it?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Mr. President and I want to thank the Hon. Senator for that question. Let me hasten to say that it is common cause that the work of the ZRP is to maintain law and order in the country. The issue that you mentioned; for some time now, the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing has reiterated that what is happening is wrong because these are not designated selling areas. This affects the health of the nation. Currently, we are experiencing the cholera epidemic and it is said that prevention is better than cure.
The Government has done everything in its power in order to curb cholera. Vendors sell perishable goods such that cholera can be spread through these goods. Vendors are not supposed to be selling their wares everywhere. The council has by-laws that govern where people are supposed to sell their wares from. There is no country that allows a person to sell from wherever they want. The Central Business District (CBD), as mentioned, there are those who pay licences in order to conduct their businesses there without any challenges. However, the vendors are now everywhere.
We know that the economy of the country is in a terrible state and people are trying to earn a decent living but they should also follow the law and not take the law into their own hands. The Constitution gives the ZRP the mandate to protect that law, but the vendors are leaving the issue of livelihood and are now blaming the ZRP who maintain law and order. Let me promise the Hon. Senator that the police will not stop doing its work as mandated in the Constitution. However, what we are saying is that people should go to designated vending sites and you will see that there will will be order in town. I thank you.