OVER 600 vendors who used to operate a flea market close to Harare Central Police Station were kicked out yesterday on allegations of posing a security threat.
The vendors claimed they were just ordered off without prior notice after operating at the site for over 10 years.
“We just woke up to this drama, this is coming as a surprise and we do not even know where this is coming from, we were not even given a notice and they just came and said they did not want to see us setting tables here,” Linda Dizha, a trader said.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed the eviction in a statement.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police bears with the innocent people who have been affected by the decision to stop vending at ZRP Harare Central car park. Vending at Harare Central has been stopped since it has become a real security threat,” she said.
“Intelligence gathered indicates that there are certain individuals/groups who want to take advantage of the goodwill of the police to commit subversive acts. This is also coupled with obstruction of the smooth flow of traffic at or near Harare Central and surrounding areas.
“Issues of security are at the heart of the police, hence, this decision. We appeal to affected individuals to approach Harare Central Projects Office for further management.”
The vendors paid a $9 fee per day, which amounted to $5 000 per day to police, with defaulters risking confiscation of their wares.