The Harare City Council and the Zimbabwe Republic Police reignited their crackdown on illegal vendors in the Central Business District on Thursday.
The crackdown on vendors started in August last year soon after the harmonised elections and was designed to remove all illegal vendors and clean the CBD.
Vendors who spoke to Zim Morning Post at the corner of Robert Mugabe way and Innez Terrace yesterday said the riot police came this time was not confisticating their wares as in the past rather it has resorted to beating vendors with button sticks and destroying their goods.
“They have been doing this all day since morning and they are not taking anything or arresting anyone rather they have been beating us and destroying our stuff, it would have been better if they arrest us and we pay fine than to lose our goods”.
“We have nowhere to go and there is no employment yet they come here to destroy our only way of living. What else do they want us to do since they are no jobs out there”
However clashes between police and vendors were witnessed yesterday in Chinhoyi street with vendors accusing police to have conducted their operation in a way that risked the lives of people around the area.
One police officer in civilian clothing was seriously attacked by the mob after he caused a car accident along Chinhoyi Street .
Efforts to get a comment from acting ZRP spokesperson Paul Nyathi remained unfruitful as he said he was engaged at a function with Commissioner General Godwin Matanga.
Meanwhile, yesterday the anti-riot police and Harare City Council police stormed online publication 263 Chat’s offices and threw teargas in the offices in an attempt to confiscate a phone of journalist Lovejoy Mtongwiza who was discharging his duties.