ZANU PF youths in Mutare on Tuesday invaded the Sakubva flea market and seized vegetable market stalls claiming the COVID-19-induced lockdown had impoverished them.
The youths were being led by ZANU PF Mutare district secretary for youths affairs Danmore Mambondiyani.
Mambondiyani told NewsDay that they decided to take over the sites as council was reluctant to open them. He said:
As the secretary for youth affairs in Mutare district, I am trying to solve the issue of vendors as reopening of the markets has dragged for a long time and we are now taking the matters upon ourselves so that these issues are addressed.
What has happened since the first lockdown period is that people have been selling wares at their houses, and municipal police would then harass them.
As youths, we are protecting the name of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and that of the vendors. Our leader has already said that all markets should be opened.
We have been engaging Mutare City Council over the opening of these vending sites and they were just reluctant to do so.
Mutare City Council suspended trading at the site citing health concerns and at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, vendors were removed from the site.
Meanwhile, Mambondiyani said that after opening the markets, they will make sure that all COVID-19 precautionary measures are followed.- NewsDay