By A Correspondent- Zanu-PF has been accused of interfering in Mutare City Council operations after the ruling party youths forcibly allocated themselves vending stalls at Chidzere flea market in the city last Thursday.
This was after youths led by outspoken Zanu-PF Mutare district co-ordinating committee secretary for youths affairs Danmore Mambondiyani stormed the flea market and allocated themselves stands.
Mambondiyani was armed with a letter from Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Nokuthula Matsikenyere addressed to Mutare City Council saying the youths should be allocated space at the flea market.
The letter, dated September 14, addressed to acting town clerk Tinashe Mtetwa stated: “The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Nokuthula Matsikenyere is kindly requesting the allocation of flea markets for the under-listed youths, your usual assistance will be greatly appreciated.”
Mambondiyani yesterday defended their action saying they did not interfere with council operations.
He said Matsikenyere met Mutare City Council and the Joint Operations Command and it was decided that 160 spaces should be allocated to them.
“The background of the matter is that we had clashes with Mutare City Council over the allocation of stands and this led Matsikenyere, the Joint Operation Command, and Mutare City Council to have a meeting where it was agreed that we were going to allocate 20% of the flea market space,” he said, adding that the youths had been ordered to pay registration fees.
However, council has remained adamant saying out of 624 spaces at the flea market, 234 of them had already been reserved for people who were previously occupying the spaces.
“Zanu-PF is interfering in the operations of our council by allocating themselves stands. The party is now doing council business and all the people who were allocated stalls are not on the council’s waiting list,” a source said.
According to latest council minutes, mayor Blessing Tandi directed the heads of department that: “I refer to the 1 289th ordinary full council meeting held on September 29, 2021, that council set aside 200 flea market stands at Chidzere flea market which will be allocated through the mayor’s office to special interest groups such as the youths, people living with disability and women, and that the remaining flea market stands will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.”