By- A fierce fight broke out Tuesday between Zanu PF thugs and the opposition CCC youths over the control of Mbare’s Mupedzanhamo market.
Anti-riot police had to fire teargas to stop clashes.
The fight resulted in the damage of some vending stalls and vehicles and the closure of shops.
The market spaces are controlled by space barons linked to Zanu PF, who demand fees from vendors to allow them to operate in the area.
Harare mayor Jacob Mafume condemned the violence saying there is a need to find solutions to challenges facing Mbare residents. Said Mafume:
As city council, we have always maintained that we need to deal with the situation in Mbare, the area needs to be renewed and have order.
We cannot continue with the Wild West mentality that is in Mbare. People are being victimised, spaces are being taken and it is difficult to provide services to Mbare.
We need a solution to the issues of Mbare, which includes all stakeholders to come up with infrastructure, and social and economic plan that serves the interest of the residents.
We condemn violence by space barons and the attacks that are happening there. We need peace to prevail.
Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation director Samuel Wadzai said tension had been building up over the past two weeks. He said:
There are space barons who are politically connected, people who claim to own spaces, especially Zanu PF. They will be removing people claiming that they own certain spaces.
So today, they wanted to remove people from those spaces that they own, that is how the fight started. This tension has been growing for almost two weeks or so.
Zanu PF information director Tafadzwa Mugwadi accused CCC activists of inciting the violence while CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Siziba said he was yet to find out what had happened. | NewsDay