Municipal police fight vendors

By Sharon Chimenya

MASVINGO City Council municipal police are understaffed and poorly resourced for
them to maintain any semblance of order in the country’s oldest town.
The section has around 100 officers and does not have vehicles to carry out duties
such as commonage patrols, vending and traffic control.

According to the minutes of the Health, Housing and Environmental Services
Committee, the section has 22 untrained guards, creating a serious security risk for
the city.

“The section comprises of Acting Chief Security Officer, five Sergeants, four
Corporals, 53 constables, 16 trained guards and 22 contract guards against its
establishment of 110 police officers. However, the section is still critically short
staffed and is also inadequately materially resourced in terms of mobility,” reads part
of the minutes.

“The requested two police dogs are yet to be purchased. The two dog handlers are
operating without uniform since the request for their uniforms has not been
responded to. It was reported that the section had no adequate vehicle for
operational duties that is for vending, commonage patrol and traffic.”

It was reported that the section was conducting continuous joint operations with
other stakeholders such as Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Vehicle Inspectorate
Department (VID), Housing, Health, Debt Collection Unit and the Environmental
Management Agency (EMA) in decongesting the city, shop licensing blitz, traffic
enforcement, push carts, illegal garages in town and vending activities.

In September, the section attended to 1030 violations in the commonage and raised
a total of US$12 820.

Meanwhile, the city fathers are set to embark on a blitz to remove vendors from
illegal sites.

“On illegal vending in the city, it was reported that council would conduct a joint blitz
with the Zimbabwe Republic Police to remove the vendors from illegal sites. It was
suggested and agreed that the vendors be given advance notice to vacate the illegal
sites before the blitz could be undertaken.

“On illegal food selling points in the city, it was highlighted that three notices to
vacate the places would be issued consecutively at seven day intervals so that
further measures would be enforceable in terms of the Shop Licences Act Chapter

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