Two Mwenezi Rural District Council (RDC) Environmental Monitors (EMs) had to run for their dear lives after a vendor whom they had cornered at Rutenga Growth Point drew a knobkerrie from his banana cart and charged towards them.
On Tuesday, March 23, Rutenga Growth Point business owners and passersby had a free spectacle as council officials had to scour for cover.
Vengai Chauke, who was plying his trade under an Amarula tree which is adjacent to Chingwanga supermarket, was approached by the EMs officers who were trying to confiscate his cart.
The EMs officers successfully took Chauke’s cart and as they were pushing it towards the council offices, Chauke charged towards them armed with a knobkerrie and managed to recover his cart.
Chauke was shouting that he was trying to make an honest living by selling his bananas and council officials should leave him alone.
“I have not stolen anything from anyone. I am trying to earn an honest living so why are you treating me like I am a thief?
“Don’t mess with me you do not know what I am capable of,” shouted Chauke.
Contacted for a comment over the duties of EMs, Mwenezi RDC Agriculture and Environmental executive officer, Kudzai Sirewu said besides monitoring various environmental issues, EMs are also helping in the maintenance of sanity around growth points to ensure that vendors as well operates at designated points.
“In towns you are aware that the duties of dealing with vendors is reserved for municipality police.
“Here in Mwenezi we are saying besides monitoring the environment EMs are also responsible for helping in maintaining sanity around the growth points and ensuring that vendors are complying in terms of operating from designated points,” said Sirewu.
Over 200 Rutenga based vendors, whose makeshift structures were destroyed during the early days of the national lockdown last year as per the order from the central government, had been stranded as the local authority is yet to erect structures for them to operate from.
So far, only the fruits and vegetable market which accommodates less than half of the affected is the only one functioning while the rest of other informal traders are yet to have proper operating places.
This has forced many to open markets at their residential areas while some continue to ply their trades at undesignated points which are sprouting around Rutenga Growth Point.