City police behaving like barbarians — councillors

Posted: 29/01/2011 in City council, Economy, Human Rights, Law Enforcement, Police, Unemployment, vendors

Harare city councillors have
criticised the way municipal
police round up street vendors
across the city and saying
methods that the city ’ s law
enforcers were employing were
too barbaric.
Council should , instead , spend
resources used to round up the
illegal vendors to put up
structures where the vendors
could trade their wares , the
councillors said .
This came up after complaints
from vendors who said they
were being treated like
criminals yet they were trying to
survive .
NewsDay witnessed municipal
police rounding up vendors
including car – washers , airtime
vendors and those selling
vegetables around the city.
Most of the vendors were
handcuffed, thrown in a tractor
and driven away .
Their wares are confiscated by
the municipal police and taken
to unknown places although
some vendors contend the
council police share the goods
among themselves.
Chairman of the committee on
environment , Councillor Herbert
Gomba said council was not
happy with the manner
residents continue to be
harassed .
Gomba said as the committee
responsible, they had tasked the
chamber secretary , Josephine
Ncube , to assist in reviewing city
by -laws .
“ We have been discussing as a
committee responsible for
crafting by -laws. We have noted
with concern the manner
municipal police have been
harassing residents ,” he said.
CONTINUES BELOW
Other councillors said the
behaviour of the municipal cops
was “ uncalled for” .
Councillors argued that there
was no reason to harass
vendors when there was no
alternative place to put them .
“ We should understand that the
by -laws have overstayed and we
must take cognisance of the
fact that there is a high rate of
unemployment. It is just
unnecessary to harass people
trying to make an innocent
living, ” said Gomba .
Vendors yesterday said the
heavy-handedness of council
police would push them to
retaliate . Battles between
municipal cops and vendors
have at worst resulted in the
death of the fleeing vendors .
Meanwhile , Harare City Council
says it has no solution to the
squatter problem that has seen
informal settlements popping
up in areas like Vainona ,
Kuwadzana, Gunhill and other
parts of the city.
Harare City Council spokesman
Leslie Gwindi told ZBC News in
a telephone interview that the
local authority has no
manpower to deal with the
problem as the illegal settlers
resist eviction.
About 20 households located in
Gunhill vowed to stay put until
the local authorities provided
land for them to build their own
houses .
“ We will not go anywhere until
council gives us land to build
our own houses . As for me I
have a wife and two children ,
where do you expect me to go
if I am evicted ?” said one man
who is a squatter in Gunhill .

MOSES MATENGA | HARARE –
Jan 28 2011 17 : 07
http://www.newsday.co.zw

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