BULAWAYO councillors are divided over the proposed Masotsha Ndlovu Avenue vending site with some blocking the move saying there will be no market for vendors in that part of town while others are for decongesting the CBD.
Speaking during a council meeting at the Council Chambers Wednesday, Finance and Development Committee chairperson Councillor Mlandu Ncube said the area around 6th Avenue is the entrance to the Central Business District (CBD) hence there is need to preserve order and stability.
The bale vendors are currently located between 6th Avenue extension and Basch street and the town lands and planning committee prosed that they should be moved to Masotsha vending site.
“The City needs some form of order, we cannot have vendors selling old clothes (bales) at the entrance to the CBD. It brings disorder and a bad impression about Bulawayo,”said Ncube.
According to Clr Ncube, moving vendors to the proposed site will improve the face of Bulawayo.
Ncube said relocating vendors to the proposed site will also make them pay their taxes to the city council.
“At Masotsha they will have personal accounts with the city council which will force them to pay tax. If we let them continue selling along 6th Avenue, they will play cat and mouse with the council,”he said.
Other councillors were not keen with the idea saying there is no market at Masotsha hence relocating vendors will bring war between the council and vendors adding that vendors contribute to the economy.
“We should put into consideration that at Masotsha vendors will not have a market for their products considering that sixth avenue is a busy street than the new site.
“Eventually this will create war between vendors and city council officers as vendors forcefully return where there is a better market,” said one councillor.
Other issues raised at the meeting were that the council needs to make sure that the proposed vending site should be surfaced, fenced and gated to ensure that the vendors are safe from commuters who use the road as a get away from the police.
According to the latest council report, the illegal vendors were now trading very close to road and “risk being run over by passing vehicles in case of an accident.”
Clr Silas Chigora maintained that vendors should be treated nicely because they contribute to the economy and they pay their rates with the money they get from vending.