Blessings Chidakwa
Municipal Reporter
Mupedzanhamo market in Mbare is yet to re-open, three months after the Government lifted the suspension on informal business activities.

The market has been turned into a carpark as space barons fight for control and Harare City Council appears unable to exert control.

The council-run flea market was scheduled to re-open in July after the review of Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

Traders gathered at the site with their wares in preparation for the resumption of business, but that stalled because of space barons, some of whom were reported to have been charging vendors US$10 each.

Council at one point tried to regain control and registered traders, but has now lost thousands of dollars in potential revenue as the market remains idle.

There are no council officials at the premises, including security personnel who used to guard the area.

When The Herald visited the market site, there were four men who claimed to be in charge of operations.

Traders, especially those who deal in seond-hand clothes, are now operating from undesignated sites in the surrounding areas that do not have sanitary facilities.

Traders operating from blocks of flats opposite the Mupedzanhamo market are not following the laid down Covid-19 regulations, including sanitisation and social distancing.

Harare City Council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme said the market would be re-opened once all modalities were put in place.

“We are working with all interested parties to resolve a few outstanding details so that the market can re-open,” he said.
Sources, however, said the re-opening would take longer than expected as political heavyweights were still tussling for control of the market.