Byo mayor rules out forceful removal of informal traders

Bulawayo Mayor David Coltart has stated that the city council will not forcefully remove informal traders from the Central Business District (CBD), but will instead provide them with alternative locations to operate from.

Most vendors were displaced from their designated areas of operation after the closure of Egodini terminus and this resulted in congestion in the city centre.

Cllr Coltart said one of the commitments they have as local authority is to restore order along 5th Avenue, a portion of the CBD that vendors have flooded, but this will not be done in a harsh way.

He was speaking at the annual civic service to commemorate and celebrate the declaration of Bulawayo as a City, held at his church, the City Presbyterian Church at 5th Avenue and Jason Moyo Street.

This year, the city celebrates 80 years of being conferred the city status.

Bulawayo was declared a city on November 4, 1943, and annually, the local authority holds a church service on a Sunday near that date, at the incumbent’s mayor’s church. 

“On behalf of my fellow councillors, the senior council leadership, and various people that serve the local authority in health, fire and security departments among others, we aim to improve several city conditions. This includes the general cleanliness of the city, functional sewerage works among other services,” Cllr Coltart said.

“One of the things we are committed to is restoring 5th Avenue. But we need to do that in a humane manner. We have agreed as councillors and senior council leadership, that we will not be coming with truckloads of police with batons. 

“We have to provide, safe and attractive alternative venues for the vendors who clog these streets so that they can have better places to operate from. That is how we can restore 5th Avenue and many other affected places in the city. It is also, only then, that we can fully implement the city laws as far as the operations of vendors are concerned.”

Cllr Coltart affirmed that councillors, together with the council leadership, are committed to developing the city.

“We want to affirm our commitment to the growth, development and betterment of our city. We have been in the office for over a month and we now know how big the challenge is, we are faced with to restore the city to its former glory,” he said.

“We are conscious that God will help us to achieve the vision we have for our city, to meet the needs of the ever-growing population of Bulawayo in a caring and friendly manner. This change will not happen overnight, nor by accident. It takes much hard work, prayer, commitment from us all.”

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