Reports claim that a bulldozer that was being used during the demolitions had a mechanical failure soon after the trader identified as King Irie confronted the council workers.
An informal trader who is physically challenged caused a stir on Monday after he confronted Harare municipal police who were demolition illegal structures at the Mbudzi roundabout.
According to H-Metro, witnesses claimed they saw one young man splashing traditional snuff at the bulldozer loader before disappearing into the crowd. Onlookers speculated that black magic could have caused the machine to malfunction. King Irie reportedly challenged the municipal police arguing why they were also targeting people living with disabilities. He said:
You can’t destroy my property, at least show mercy on my business. This is my only source of livelihood. This will not end well. The demolitions were momentarily halted but eventually recommenced with King Irie’s spot not spared.
A food vendor, Memory Jumbe said she lost her source of livelihood after Harare City Council launched the blitz. She said: I was surviving off selling sadza to travellers and now they have destroyed my only hope of earning a living. I have tried to get a proper lease with council but the queues are too long and sometimes traders are turned away. There is no proper communication as to when the council grants licences so I was just operating to fend for my family.
The ongoing demolitions commenced on Monday. They are being conducted by Harare City Council, Chitungwiza Municipality, Ruwa Local Board and Epworth Local Board with the assistance of ZRP and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development.
The government is targeting unregistered informal traders who are in the car sales, furniture, bricks, sand and quarry stones business operating along road servitudes.