Zimbabwean police in clean-up campaign against illegal vendors, pirate taxis
APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) - Riot police on Thursday launched an operation to restore order on the streets of the Zimbabwean capital Harare where illegal vendors and rowdy pirate taxi operators have become the order of the day.
According to eyewitnesses and rights groups, the police moved ordered the vendors and pirate taxis to leave Harare’s central business district under a campaign codenamed “Operation Restore Order”.
The Zimbabwe Human Right NGO Forum said the riot police, working with municipal police from the Harare City Council, cleared the capital’s central business district of the vendors.
However, some of the vendors immediately returned to their spots as soon as the police trucks moved away.
The vendors and pirate taxi operators operate from undesignated zones and are in the habit of blocking traffic.
The clean-up campaign also comes a day after Harare Provincial Minister Miriam Chikukwa declared war on the illegal vendors and taxi operators, ordering them to vacate the city centre with "immediate effect".
The campaign followed a directive by President Robert Mugabe at the weekend for the Harare City Council and the police to “clear the roads” of illegal vendors and pirate taxi operators.