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BCC fails to relocate vendors

BULAWAYO city fathers are failing to re-allocate vending bays owing to lack of financial resources needed for marking the trading spaces to meet COVID-19 guidelines on social distancing.

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) destroyed vending stalls for informal traders in the central business district (CBD) insisting that the move was necessary to decongest the streets as a preventive COVID-19 measure.

At the time, the council said it was targeting some of the bus termini in residential areas for use as the new vending bays.

However, months later, there is little movement in the construction of the promised new vending bays.

A latest council report, however, blames lack of resources to meet requirements needed for the re-allocation of vending bays.

"On the dates June 22 2020 and July 6, 2020, the interdepartmental vending committee held meetings on the redesigning of vending bays in the CBD and suburban areas. The committee highlighted that the hindrance to allocations was lack of funding to mark the bays in line with the COVID-19 guidelines of maintaining social distancing," the council report reads in part.

In reaction, the Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) director Michael Ndiweni accused city fathers for poor planning.

"It is disappointing that BCC made a decision without thinking about the resources. Common sense dictates that such a plan should be backed by available resources," Ndiweni told this publication yesterday.

"Council must engage the private players and see if they can come in and assist; but also as an association, what we have done is we have set aside some resources towards procuring some paint towards marking the bays, to provide that support."

In December 2019, the BVTA presented its proposed sketched market models in its inclusive cities planning and designing initiative for vendors and informal traders to the council.

According to the BVTA, the majority of informal traders in Zimbabwe lack decent working spaces and are excluded in city planning and designing processes.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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