THERE is uproar in Chinhoyi over the forthcoming Zanu PF national people’s conference with some small business people and vendors accusing the local authority of forcibly removing them from their places of operations.
BY NUNURAI JENA
Most vendors who used to operate along the Harare-Chirundu highway selling their wares have been relocated to the outskirts of the town as the local authority tries to spruce up the city in preparation for the conference set for December.
But the affected vendors said the move by the council has negatively affected them as they were losing business.
Taurai Chisvo, a clothing vendor said they had been literally cast away like dirt as the local authority wanted to impress Zanu PF.
“We were removed for no apparent reason other than that they want to clean the streets for the Zanu PF conference. This is not fair,” said Chisvo.
Other vendors and a few business operators who were caught up in the clean-up campaign said there were affected by the move to remove them from the CBD.
“We will experience a bleak festive season as our products are not selling as fast as expected because of the relocation,” said one small entrepreneur.
Vendors also complained of high vending rates which ranged from US$8 to US$33 per month.
But Chinhoyi vendors’ association chairperson Marian Nyandura said the situation was not that bad as people were given “proper and orderly” places to operate from.
While the vendors and small business people were crying foul over council’s decision to forcibly remove them from their previous areas of operation, motorists were happy that the town’s dilapidated roads were finally getting attention. Motorists said they welcomed the road repairs that were taking place in preparation for the conference. They said bad roads in the town were damaging their vehicles resulting in them incurring huge repair costs.
Some motorists were jokingly saying the conference should be held yearly in the province, for roads to be maintained. Others said the road repairs should be extended to residential areas instead of concentrating close to the conference venue at the Chinhoyi University of Technology grounds and the provincial state house.
But some residents said the road repair works were irregular as the companies hired were from outside Mashonaland West province.
“All that is happening is scandalous. Do you have to wait for the conference or congress to repair the roads? Whose companies have been contracted? Remember development should not be conditional like this situation,” said one resident.
A Harare-based company is repairing the roads, while Chinese nationals are responsible for erecting the conference venue. Zanu PF Mashonaland West chairman, John Mafa said preparations were going on well.