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BCC clueless on Egodini vendors' location

by Staff Reporter
25 Dec 2013 at 04:58hrs | Views

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) appears to be clueless as to where the Egodini vendors and transport operators would be relocated to with only five days left to vacate the terminus in order to pave way for the construction of a $56 million state-of-the-art regional transit centre and shopping complex.

There are close to 800 vendors operating at Egodini who were given up to December 31 to vacate the terminus.

The project, which would be done by a South African civil engineering firm, Tearracota (Pvt) Ltd was billed to start at year end.

Council had told vendors and transport operators that it would accommodate them at various council facilities during the construction period, which it had not done.

To date business continues as usual amid uncertainty over the issue as no communication has been made to inform the vendors of their new destination.

Some people, however, feel there is a possibility that the December 31 deadline was not feasible.

A majority of vendors feel that most of the identified places were unsuitable for business as they do not have adequate facilities and needed to be upgraded.

The vendors have expressed concern over the matter and want to know where council would relocate them to.

"We are concerned about this issue because we want the city council to tell us where exactly they would take us to before we can accept their proposed terminus," said Mrs Siziwe Sibanda, a vendor at Egodini.

"We must be given time to inspect the place before we move because there are a lot of factors to consider. The council must firstly make sure the new place has toilet facilities for hygiene purposes."

Zimbabwe Chamber of Economies Association (ZCEA) chairman and former Ward One councillor Edward Manning said a meeting that was scheduled to discuss the issue yesterday was postponed by the city council.

"The town planners cancelled the meeting saying some of the council's departments were not represented," he told Chronicle.

"We are hoping that they would call us soon so that we map the way forward."

Bulawayo United Residents Association (Bura) chairperson Winos Dube said they were still waiting for official communication from the city council.

He said council should handle the matter in a professional manner as the relocation affected many people.

"We are yet to hear from the council and I hope everything is in order. There are a lot of people who are earning a living from that place and there is need for the city council to ensure that these people's operations are not disturbed," Dube said.

"We also do not want a situation where we see kombis in every corner and vendors selling their wares everywhere. We want order in the city."

The council's senior public relations officer, Nesisa Mpofu could not be reached for comment while the deputy mayor, Councillor Gift Banda said the local authority's engineering department was working on identifying alternative accommodation for the vendors but did not give details.

"We are still working on the issue. The engineering department is in the process of identifying accommodation for the vendors. When everything is in order, the council will  allocate different areas for the affected people," said Clr Banda.

Source - Chronicle