Fact check : Has illegal vending increased in Bulawayo’s Central Business District (CBD)?

The Claim: Councillor Concillia Mlalazi claimed that Illegal vending activities had resumed in the CBD especially along 6th Avenue. She also claimed there was also overcrowding along 5th Avenue and social distancing was also not being observed.
The Verdict: claim verdict

CITE observed that informal traders have since returned to the CBD especially along 5th Ave. There are no COVID-19 regulations being adhered to by the vendors  

Vendors operating in high density areas have also taken the opportunity to trade in undesignated vending areas. CITE observed that vendors were trading along Ntemba road, Old Pumula without any social distancing.

However, Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) director, Michael Ndiweni said vendors had not flooded into the CBD.

“I have been moving around town and what l noticed is that there are a few vendors. It is not true that vendors are flooding the streets,” said Ndiweni.

Source: While addressing a full council meeting Councillor Mlalazi said vendors were returning into the CBD in large numbers despite the council ban on vending activities in undesignated areas.

Background: The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) permanently closed off the Fifth Avenue Market which catered for hundreds of vendors, operating from Robert Mugabe to Lobengula Street, to any form of trading, as a response to the spread of COVID-19.

The local authority designated the following areas as operational vending sites: Sekusile Nkulumane bus terminus, Emganwini Mupedzanhamo Association, Old Pumula vegetables market, New Magwegwe market and Cowdray Park Bus terminus market.

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