SECOND-HAND clothes traders have found their way back on the streets despite being banned, with pavements along Remembrance Drive in Harare’s Mbare suburb being turned into flea markets.
The second hand clothes traders have resorted to selling their wares by the road side causing confusion and unnecessary traffic jam.
There is also the added danger of creating Covid-19 hotspots as traders mob potential buyers on arrival.
“Come and buy cheap clothes as little as dollars each,” yelled one trader at this news crew.
Traders lament the closure of the popular Mupedzanhamo premise due to covid-19 and the issue of space barons.
“We pay money to some people who purport to be from the city council money to sell our clothes and other wares here,” said another trader.
Harare City Council spokesperson Michael Chideme says the local authority is the process of identifying a suitable place to relocate the traders while declaring war on space barons.
“We want to avoid problems in the past where people were paying rent to space barons, prejudicing council along the way. This time around we want to protect the interests of traders,” he said
Late last year, Harare City Council was given a three-week ultimatum by government to come up with a plan for the re-opening of Mupedzanhamo and solve the issue of space barons.
However, this was shelved as new Covid-19 restrictions were imposed to deal with the spike in infections and deaths.
Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Republic Police intercepted five truckloads of smuggled second hand clothes and shoes in Nyazura, with six people being arrested in connection with the case.
Police intercepted the trucks along the Harare-Mutare highway at Tsungwezi Bridge after receiving a tip-off that there was a convoy of six vehicles with smuggled bales heading towards Harare.
Five of the trucks were recovered with six suspects being arrested.
Two of the alleged smugglers were arrested after they offered the police officers 9 thousand United States dollars in cash as bribe to release the trucks.
Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi who confirmed the incident, warned all smugglers against such activities saying the long arm of the law will catch up with them.
He revealed that the operation against smugglers is also being carried out in Beitbridge. – ZBC