THE City of Harare is seeking to engage the University of Zimbabwe authorities over the problem of food vending at the intersection of Mt Pleasant Drive and St Kilda Road, which is disrupting the flow of traffic and making the intersection a potential accident zone.
The University of Zimbabwe recently relocated the bus rank where commuter omnibuses pick and drop students, staff and visitors, from within its premises to the intersection of Mt Pleasant Drive and St Kilda, much to the chagrin of residents.
Congestion became a daily problem at the intersection following the relocation with the added problem of vending as food vendors targeting students also trekked to the area to sell cooked food, drinks, fruits and snacks.
In a message to Mt Pleasant residents who have in recent weeks been expressing their concerns over the move by the UZ authorities, Mt Pleasant district officer Mrs Marian Mverechena said she will be engaging the university to find a solution to the problem.
This week residents also raised concern over vendors who sell food by the Mt Pleasant Drive and St Kilda intersection and the main entrance to the university.
“Will someone please update us on the situation regarding the vendors on Mount Pleasant Drive at the main entrance to UZ. What is going on at the moment is a total disgrace for both the UZ authorities and Harare City Council,” said a resident.
Residents said urgent action was needed to deal with the situation with some noting that of late municipal police and Zimbabwe Republic Police had visited the place to enforce law and order but the vending problem remains an issue.
Mrs Mverechena then informed residents that she was seized with the matter to try and seek a solution to the problem.
“I am arranging a meeting with the (University of Zimbabwe) registrar to see if they can do something with their canteen so that students are not attracted to go outside. Municipal Police and ZRP have tried to carry out a mop up operations but they still come back and it will end up being a cat and mouse game,” she said.
But residents felt the police were not being effective in dealing with the vendors as the problem could be solved if police were tough on the law breakers.
The residents paid tribute to Mrs Mverechena and hoped her initiative will bring the desired results.
“Thank you for the initiative Mrs Mverechena, hopefully it will yield the desired results,” said a resident.
Last month, Mt Pleasant residents expressed concern over the decision by the UZ to close its gate on Mt Pleasant Drive to prevent commuter omnibuses from entering the campus to pick and drop students and moving the bus rank to a busy intersection.
The institution was said to have established a new pick up and drop off point opposite the intersection of Mt Pleasant Drive and St Kilda Road, which is not safe and could result in accidents because the intersection is a busy one.