Council moves to restore order after Mugabe gripe

  • Mushika-shika stopped forthwith

Harare City Council has stepped in to restore order in the capital following President Robert Mugabe’s order to bring sanity and decongest the central business district.

Moses Matenga 

President Mugabe told a Zanu PF youth national assembly meeting at the weekend that he was not happy with the state of affairs in the city centre, citing proliferation of illegal vendors and pirate taxi operators.

The local authority has therefore sought for assistance from the Zimbabwe Republic Police and all law enforcement agents to maintain law and order.

“In light of the aforementioned, Council with full support of the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, all law enforcement agents and other order-loving stakeholders in Harare, is implementing Operation Restore Order – an operation to decongest the City,” city Acting Town Clerk Josephine Ncube said.

“We accept that the informal sector is critical in income generation but there is need to balance that with order, compliance with by-laws, and respecting formal businesses that contribute to the development of the country through payment of taxes.”
More than 30 thousand vendors have been registered before.

She said each person will be allowed one vending spot in the CBD and in the suburbs and vowed that there will be no subletting, and creation of space barons who continue to extort money from desperate vendors.

“Trading outside the demarcated zones will attract the full wrath of the law and deregistration for repeat offenders. All fresh produce wholesalers are prohibited from operating in the CBD their space is at Mbare and Lusaka wholesale markets while pushcarts are also prohibited in the CBD in terms of the push carts by-law. In addition to that, the City will demolish all illegal structures on vending sites and ranks. We therefore urge those who had erected illegal structures to pull them down immediately- failure of which Council will assist them to do so.”

“The sale of groceries on the streets is strictly prohibited. Obstruction of roads by vendors is a punishable offense in terms of the Criminal Law and Codification Reform Act. It is important to note that trading from car boots is also illegal and those willing to be allocated vending space should register and comply with the relevant by-laws. The City of Harare also notes with concern the wanton disregard of principles of fair competition as some illegal vendors are occupying frontage of shops of compliant businesses. Those involved in this practice should stop forthwith and operate from designated vending sites.”

She said defiant commuter omnibus operators who flout by-laws by picking and dropping off passengers at undesignated pick up points, causing mayhem in the city should immediately go to designated holding bays.

“All commuter omnibus operators who use Copacabana Bus Terminus and Market Square Bus Terminus are with immediate effect instructed to go back to the Coventry Holding Bay where a proper control mechanism has been put in place to ensure the re-operationalization of the bay,” she said.

The bay was constructed three years ago at the tune of $500 thousand United States dollars but was fast becoming a white elephant as the operators were using illegal points in the city centre.


“All Commuter Omnibus Operators who use Simon Muzenda (Fourth Street) and Charge Office Bus Termini are going to use the space opposite Rhodesville Police Station along Robert Mugabe Road as their holding bay.”

“All illegal taxi operators commonly known as mushika-shika are instructed to stop operating forthwith .All those willing to operate as taxi operators should follow the necessary procedure and register,” she said.

“Bulawayo bound buses are going to use an open space between Long Chen Plaza and National Sports Stadium between Samora Machel Avenue and Kirkman Road.

“Mutare bound buses are going to use the open space at the corner of Cripps Road and Seke Road next to City of Harare Quarry site. Masvingo bound buses are going to use the terminus at Mbudzi Roundabout. Bindura Bound commuter omnibuses are going to use an open space along Leopold Takawira (western side) between Josiah Tongogara Street and Cork Road.”