by Staff Reporter
HARARE-The military should not be engaged in the illegal vendor eviction process, a Zimbabwe High Court Judge has ruled.
Justice Felistus Chatukuta, made the ruling Monday in a case in which the Zimbabwe Informal Sectors Organisation (ZISO) was seeking to bar the Government from removing both illegal and legal vendors from the streets.
The court ordered that when the Government eventually removes the illegal vendors, due process must be followed and that the military should not be engaged in the eviction process.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo, Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni and Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi were listed as respondents in the urgent chamber application filed last Friday.
The court order that was issued by consent of all the parties reads:
“It is ordered by consent of the parties that the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents be and are hereby interdicted from evicting the applicant’s legal vendors from their designated vending sites, without due process.
“The second respondent (Defence Minister) shall ensure that the Defence Forces of Zimbabwe and the Joint Operations Command shall refrain from participating in the civic duties of the 1st and 3rd respondents (Local Government and council).”
Mr Chris Mhike of Artherstone and Cook represented ZISO, while Mr Charles Kwaramba of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni acted for Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni.
Mr Joseph Mumbengegwi of the Attorney-General’s Office appeared for Minister Chombo and Minister Sekeramayi.
Commenting on the consent order yesterday, Mr Mhike said: “We agreed that whatever process to be undertaken by Government, due process of the law must be followed. We also agreed that the military will not be used in the eviction process.”
UK based lawyer and constitutional law expert Dr Alex Magaisa wrote on his blog www.wamagaisa.com “Constitution states that only the President can deploy armed forces and that requires Parliamentary sanction. Chombo had no right to communicate a message suggesting the deployment of armed forces”.
The illegal vendor eviction process was deferred to June 17.