Written by on March 13, 2023

By Sibonginkosi Maphosa

The Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises , Dr Sthembiso Nyoni has challenged City Fathers to reinforce laws and eradicate space barons who have taken over the city as they allocate unlicensed vendors vending space anywhere they deem suitable.

Hon Nyoni said this at an engagement meeting with different key stakeholders in the SMEs sector at Mhlahlandlela government complex on Monday.

Nyoni said someone must take responsibility of space barons and that is none other than the Bulawayo City Council.

The city fathers were challenged to put their bylaws to practice citing that the issue of space barons was a highest level of criminality which needed to be addressed with urgency.

Hon Nyoni went on to say that no one was above the law despite their political affiliation.

“Inorder for us to proceed someone has to take repsonsibility for space barons .There are some space barons that takeover land allocated to SMEs .Let us work together to bring order in our country. let the SMEs not be overridden by space barons , let the local authority , my ministry and the Chamber of SMEs be the ones that come together and allocate space . Anyone that allocates space besides these three is illegal “, said the minister .

Also present at this engagement was Minister for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Bulawayo Metropolitan Province , Hon Judith Ncube who said Bulawayo was now a sorry sight as vendors sell their wares in each and every corner whereas there should be designated places for vending.

Hon Ncube was once blasted by the Bulawayo City Council after she did an inquiry on the completion of the EGodini project , a site that is designated for licensed vendors as the city council blamed her for interfering with the process .

Deputy Mayor Councilor Mlandu Ncube , said the local authority was delighted to be given the green light to deal with space barons and they will do like wise.

” At first our hands were tied as space barons would claim that they have been allocated the space by ZANU PF officials. We will also deal with corrupt municipal police who illegally solicit for bribes from the illegal vendors who sell aat undesignated vending places”.

This engagement comes at a time when Bulawayo is sitting on a ticking health time bomb as an estimated 15 000 vendors are vending in the city without ablution facilities and refuse dumping sites.

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