By Blessings Chidakwa
Mupedzanhamo flea market needs to be upgraded to a small business hub and will remain closed until space barons are excluded.
Harare City Council has been given three weeks by the Government to come up with a solid plan for Mupedzanhamo that will in future curb the issue of space barons.
Touring Harare markets, including Mupedzanhamo and Siyaso yesterday, Harare provincial development coordinator Mr Tafadzwa Muguti said it was high time Harare takes its urban renewal plan seriously.
“The purpose of the visit is a follow up on President Mnangagwa’s visit in Mbare areas. As Government we are deeply concerned with the disorder in Mbare,” he said.
“We don’t want to see people operating here, it should remain closed and not being a battleground for space barons. First phase of urban renewal should see Mupedzanhamo being a centre for cultural heritage.
“Mupedzanhamo has a lot of challenges: Both Zanu PF and MDC officials clashing for space. It remains closed until there is a solid plan. We cannot build policies on mediocrity.”
Mr Muguti said the local authority should create a Mupedzanhamo smart business hub.
“Let it be a place where formalised small and medium enterprises conduct their businesses, not a ground for selling bales that have been banned,” he said.
“The economic development we want is that let us revive industries. So far I don’t see smart cities by promoting sale of bales.”
Mr Muguti also blasted the council for having run down the city.
“Harare is no longer the Sunshine City. It used to be adorable back in the yesteryears. But we are turning it into a banana republic where people are selling products at traffic section lights,” he said.
“The council has turned a blind eye to the enforcement of law and order in the town. We are taking a lot for granted. It is sad that some council officials are conniving with space barons to run down the city.”
During the visit it was observed that council was losing potential revenue at its markets as people were not paying rates. The Herald.