Harare city council uses “soldiers” to evict vendors

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councilHarare Municipality police’s heavy-handedness in evicting the vendors from the Central Business District of Harare has set tongues wagging amid reports soldiers disguised as council police have been deployed following yesterday’s resistance by the vendors, ZimbabweNewslive can exclusively reveal.
On Wednesday vendors resisted calls to move out of the CBD and since 0700 hours this morning municipal police have been engaged in running battles with the vendors where 29 of them have since been arrested.
Top council officials said there is a possibility the government roped in the army as the battle reaches fever pitch.
“Some of the faces we are seeing today are new and there is no doubt council has roped in the army disguised as municipal police,” said the source.
Contacted for comment Harare mayor Benard Manyenyeni said only municipal police official have been deployed.
“All I know is that council has deployed municipal police,” he said.
Twenty nine vendors have been arrested in the city centre after violent clashes with Municipal police.
Police could not immediately confirm the arrests but the 29, arrested after the clashes witnessed by NewsDay were taken to Harare Central Police Station.
Vendors Unions said their lawyers are on the ground to give legal representation to those affected.
Zimbabwe Informal Sectors Organization (ZISO) director Promise Mkwananzi said the municipality police were very swift in manhandling the vendors.
“The skill and efficiency which the vendors were decimated reflect military training,” Mkwananzi said.
“It could be that the regime shied away from a total military operation by camouflaging the army with municipal uniforms,” he said.

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