The CZR notes with grave concern the unchallenged takeover of Harare’s Central Business District by informal vendors operating as unregistered retailers. Food items like fruits and vegetables are being sold under unhealthy conditions in some cases right next to uncollected rubbish. Expired cosmetics and other basic commodities of dubious origin are stacked along pavements, restricting pedestrian movement and rendering it virtually impossible for shoppers to enjoy window shopping – a pastime everyone took for granted not so long ago. Needless to say this negatively impacts on registered and licensed retailers whose shop licenses entitle them to display their wares for window-shoppers. Thus the retail sector is under siege literally. One just wonders if the so-called city fathers are paying any attention to this deplorable situation and if so what they are planning to do about it. Something has to be done decisively to stop the crisis from worsening any further.
To see how vending is now so rampant and get a feel of how difficult it is to navigate the streets of Harare on foot just check out the video below:
The dangers to public health posed by food sold in the open streets can never be overstated. It takes a lot of determination and public support for the City Council to regain control and restore Harare’s true metropolitan status. It is quite a mammoth task, but not exactly impossible.