MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa has castigated the government for the ongoing demolition of informal businesses within the Harare Metropolitan Province.
On Saturday Harare City Council workers, backed by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), swooped on Mbare, Harare’s oldest suburb and razed to the ground informal business structures, throwing thousands of vendors out of business.
The demolitions, which are being done in the middle of winter, are reminiscent of the 2005 Operation Murambatsvina which left nearly a million people homeless.
In a post on Twitter on Sunday, Chamisa criticised the government’s penchant for destroying people’s livelihood during cold months: He wrote:
AN ILLEGAL GVT CANT DEMOLISH ILLEGAL STRUCTURES… It can’t be normal for a [government] to specialize in destruction &demolition.
And why always ‘Murambatsvina during cold winters? Unless we deal with the illegal structure produced by rigged elections, illegalities will be difficult to stop.
MDC Alliance Treasurer David Coltart also questioned why the authorities were carrying out the demolitions while failing to create jobs. He tweeted on Saturday:
Whilst many people including me, want the formal sector of our economy to grow, the destruction of vendors stalls in this manner is crude and cruel.
These are some of the poorest people in #Zimbabwe. When jobs are created through national policies, most vendor stalls will disappear.
Meanwhile, City of Harare said that Mbare residents are happy with the demolitions that were mostly concentrated at the Mupedzanhamo Flea Market area but also cascaded to the adjacent Magaba Home Industry.