By Staff reporter
Harare City Council has ordered all informal traders operating illegal tuckshops to remove them before February 18 or have them demolished.
In a statement Council alleged the illegal structures were the cause of recent urban flooding citing that an operation to remove the structures is already in the pipeline.
“All illegal tuckshop owners across town should stop operations and remove their structures before 18 February, 2021. An operation to remove illegal structures is coming soon.
“Some of the illegal structures are on road verges and public spaces. The unsightly structures are not helping especially when it rains because some of the structures are causing flooding as they block runoff,” it said.
Removal of illegal structures at Council’s Crowborough paddocks begins on 2 April, 2021.
The bulk of Harare residents operate in the informal sector and this announcement will affect their income generating activities.
Previously Mayor Mafume has urged tuck-shop owners to regularise their operations with the city council and make a contribution to HCC coffers.
“We are not opposed to tuck-shops as a council. We need them to be registered and regularised.
“In an informal economy (such as ours) people have a right to earn a living.
“Those who have problems with them should pull them down. Some new settlements have no shops. There are no kombis to take people to the shops.
“How will they survive?” he said.
Last year there was an uproar in Harare following the demolition of 200 houses and structures in Budiriro suburb which left affected residents homeless.
Chitungwiza Council has also promised to demolish over 11 000 illegal structures though Local Government Minister July Moyo has ordered them to stop.
Some international organisations have since petitioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the mass demolitions that have left affected residents stranded.