CHRA Alert: – Mbare man diesas municipal police unleashes violence on vendors

chra_logoThe Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) is deeply saddened by the unfortunate and unnecessary death of the Mbare vendor, Godfrey Tonde, who died yesterday (9 October 2009) after falling while trying to run away from the municipal police who had unleashed their wrath on vendors.

This incident comes barely a week after the municipal police descended on the vendors at Fourth Street Bus Terminus; a situation that saw the vendors becoming violent and throwing stones at the municipal police trucks.

The municipal police have become a nightmare to most vendors in the streets of Harare who are continuously suffering beatings for allegedly doing business at undesignated points. It defies logic to note that the Harare City Council is expending its efforts on harassing vendors at a time when it should be focusing on improving service delivery. The current situation where vendors do not have market stalls to do their business is reflective of the Councils failure to properly provide its ratepayers with adequate social services. These people were condemned into this unfortunate situation by Operation Murambatsvina; and correcting that malady is supposed to be one of the priorities of Council. It is now more than twelve months since the Council came into Office; and concrete steps to improve the lives of the Harare populace should have been taken by now.

Council should actually think of ways to reallocate market stalls to these desperate residents who are trying to earn a living through vending instead of continuously harassing them. The death of Tonde was unnecessary and Council should be held responsible for his death. CHRA got information from Harare Central Police Station to the effect that, according to the laws of this country, the municipal police do not have the legal right to beat residents for whatever reasons. Beating residents for vending on the streets is tantamount to gross violations of human rights and it should be stopped at all costs. Residents make the following demands;

That Council should bear all the funeral expenses for Tonde.

Council should be brought to book for causing Tondes death.

That Council should stop harassing vendors forthwith.

Council should ensure that market stalls are constructed and allocated to residents in need as a matter of urgency.

CHRA and the residents of Harare at large mourn together with the Tonde family. It is unfortunate that his death has come at a time when there is an elected Council in office; a Council that is supposed to represent those who ushered it into office instead of violating their right to life. CHRA appeals to all the Harare Councilors to take this incident as a turning point for reflecting on what they have been doing since they came into office. The Councilors should influence change and professionalism in the operations at Town House instead of perpetuating the culture of the previous Harare Commissions. CHRA remains committed to advocating for good, accountable and transparent local governance as well as lobbying for quality municipal services.

CHRA Information, making the implicit, explicit

Post published in: Politics

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