Government officials, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and municipalities around Mashonaland West Province last week launched a blitz on illegal vendors operating in undesignated areas to bring sanity to the province’s urban centres.
The operation is targeting illegal food vendors who are accused of fuelling the spread of diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
The officials have been engaged in running battles with the defiant vendors in Chinhoyi, Chegutu, Karoi, Norton and Kariba.
In Kadoma, most of the vendors have complied with authorities although other dealers especially in the non-consumptive trade such as cash and cellphones have remained on the streets.
The Chinhoyi Municipality has banned all illegal vendors who are running unregistered food outlets after a notice was issued for them to stop operations last week Friday.
Chinhoyi Municipality spokesperson Mr Tichaona Mlauzi said the town would not compromise residents’ health by allowing illegal food outlets.
“We are working with the ZRP to ban all those who are running illegal food outlets because they are posing serious health threats to the residents,” he said.
However, Mashonaland West acting provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ian Kohwera said they were not aware of the operations.
He also referred all questions to deputy national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care promotion officer Mr George Kambondo said Government was also assessing the situation for potential health hazards around the towns.
“We discovered that some vendors are being chased away but are returning as soon as the authorities move on,” he said.
Meanwhile, churches in the province have also joined the fight against the spread of water-borne diseases. Zimbabwe Amalgamated Churches Council patron Cde Jimayi Muduvuri urged churched leaders to adhere to proper precautionary measures to prevent the spread of diseases.
“We have since notified all church leaders to cooperate with the instructions coming from the Ministry of Health and Child Care and all those who are working to curb the spread of diseases,” he said.
He said all churches should make sure that there are functional ablution facilities at their premises while also providing clean and safe water.
Vendors in Kadoma moved off the streets as soon as council ordered them to vacate undesignated sites.
However, defiant cellphone and cash vendors continued to play cat and mouse games with authorities.
Other vendors are also returning to the streets after hours when council officials have knocked off.
Kadoma Town Clerk Mr Malvern Dondo last weekend issued a statement urging vendors to move off undesignated vending areas.