THE City of Harare has intensified the operation to impound building materials and other wares from traders who conduct their business on road sides.
Diana Nherera Suburban Reporter
The operation to clean up road verges follows a directive from Government to remove car sales, vendors and all traders selling their goods from the roadsides.
City of Harare corporate communications manager, Mr Michael Chideme told Suburban that the programme is ongoing.
“It’s an ongoing exercise but if residents suspect foul play, they can take pictures of the people confiscating the goods,” he said.
A vendor operating in Greendale recently had her wares which included quarter namely three quarter stones, river sand, pit sand, bricks and other building materials confiscated by council at the corner of Arcturus Road and Harare Drive.
The vendor said the building materials were taken to Greendale District Office and was wondering if there was a way of recovering her goods.
Last year, Harare Provincial Development Co-ordinator Mr Tafadzwa Muguti directed council to impound the building materials sold on road sides as the traders were not paying anything to council.
Building materials are a common sight on most roads in the northern suburbs where some also sell durawall panels and wooden cabins.
In June this year, Mr Muguti also gave notice of car sales and other business on road sides to vacate and remove their property, cars and any structures they had built.
Mr Muguti said such businesses were in breach of the Roads Act which prohibits trading on roadsides.
“The Provincial Directorate for the Government in Harare Metropolitan Province has noted with concern the rising number of unregistered informal traders of furniture, bricks, sand, quarry stones and car sales businesses operating along road servitudes.
“We hereby inform all occupants of road servitudes that they have until Sunday June 7, 2021 to vacate and remove all their property and destroy any infrastructure erected on road servitudes,” Mr Muguti said.
He said the Roads Act clearly states in Section 48 (trading on roads and in restricted areas (1) (2) that it is prohibited to trade on roads unless with written permission from the Road Authority.
“It is also stated in sub section (3) that any person who does so shall be guilty of a level eight offence subject to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding two years,” Mr Muguti said.
Councils, police and relevant Government arms have been enforcing a province wide joint operation to clean up road sides since June.
Council officials who corruptly authorised the car sales and other businesses to operate on roadsides face investigation by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission while councils should probe all leases issued on their behalf.
“All local authorities have also been instructed to institute internal investigations and verify all leases issued on behalf of council. In the interim no further leases should be issued affecting road servitudes.”
Road servitudes are the spaces on the roadsides reserved for expansion of the road. In cities and towns water and sewer infrastructure, electricity pylons and cables, telephone and internet cables are placed on or under road servitudes.
The City of Harare’s announcement to clean up road verges sparked debate among residents with some welcoming it saying the car sales were now an eyesore along the city’s major roads with a number of the car sales established right in front of residents’ houses.
Others felt the car sales were providing employment to a number of people and should not be removed. However, affected residents insisted the car sales should be removed and allocated alternative spaces where to conduct their business.
But residents insisted they were an eyesore saying there was also need to investigate who allowed the car sales to be set up on road servitudes in the first place.
Acting Harare Mayor Councillor Stewart Mutizwa said there was need to investigate and make sure that all the car sales across the city are on designated places and have proper documentation.