THE Harare City Council’s admission that it has failed to remove vendors from the streets of the capital city is both disappointing and shocking.
City health director, Dr Prosper Chonzi, made this confession last week during a briefing on the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) programme.
The programme is meant to contain the cholera outbreak, which has already claimed many lives.
With all the manpower they have at their disposal, the city fathers can do better and help bring back sanity in Harare.
City vendors have become an eyesore in the Harare Central Business District.
It’s like a lawless jungle out there where anyone can decide to do anything they want as if the city does not have bylaws.
Ensuring that there is sanity on the streets of Harare is a core responsibility of the city fathers.
Ensuring that vendors are cleared from the streets and do not set up shop wherever they want is also a core responsibility of the city leadership.
For the city fathers to throw in the towel, in a battle to ensure that vendors are brought to order, is quite disappointing.
It’s like the city fathers are telling us that thank you for electing us to provide leadership to your capital but we have failed to do that.
Surely clearing vendors from the streets of Harare is part of what we expect from these local government leaders.
It’s not like we are asking for them to do something that is virtually impossible.
We are asking them to do something that is basic and for them to say that they can’t do it should come with repercussions.
Such repercussions should include the city fathers resigning from their posts because they would have failed to execute the mandate which we gave them.
It’s their mandate to ensure that Harare regains its Sunshine status.
It is also their mandate to ensure that vendors are restricted to designated vending stores.
We can’t afford to let vendors do as they please.
With the cholera outbreak, order is needed to ensure that we save lives.
We can’t afford to let this chaos continue in Harare at a time when people’s lives are at stake.
Losing lives due to vending on the pavements is unacceptable.
Everyone should take responsibility and ensure that we save lives.
Harare, which used to be one of the cleanest cities in Africa, should reclaim its status.
It’s never too late for that to be implemented and ensure that Harare regains its glamour.
A change of mindset is needed to make sure that we get rid of city vendors in Harare.
If the city fathers can’t deal with the situation, then new brooms should come in and replace the current crop of administrators.
We can’t afford to let Harare become an eyesore when the situation can be easily contained.
The vendors who resist should be arrested and fined for operating at undesignated vending sites.
Our hope is that the city fathers will act or just leave their offices for others to execute this mandate.