• Breaking News

    Wednesday, 17 June 2015

    First Lady Grace blocks the forced removal of vendors.

    PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and his wife First Lady Grace blocked the forced removal of vendors operating from undesignated areas in urban centres after a seven-day ultimatum issued by government and a top army officer, a minister said yesterday.

    Small and Medium Enterprises Development minister Sithembiso Nyoni told members of the shadowy Queen of Grace ZimAsset Trust, which represents a section of vendors that have volunteered to leave the streets of Harare, that Mugabe was against the army and police being used against informal traders.

    Nyoni said Mugabe and his wife stopped the forced evictions, arguing that “Zanu PF is for the people”

    First Lady Grace blocks the forced removal of vendors.
    “You heard that the army and police were going to be used (during the evictions), but myself and (Local Government minister Cde (Ignatius) Chombo in consultation with Amai and Baba (Robert and Grace), we said Zanu PF is for the people,” she said.

    “I was called names on this vendors issue, but what you have done has shamed enemies. It showed you are patriotic. They said ‘unleash dogs and arrest them’, but I said ‘no, they are our people, our sons and daughters, our mothers and aunts, they are Zimbabweans and patriots’. I am sure Amai and Baba will be happy with what you are doing.”

    Earlier this month, Chombo and members of the Joint Operations Command threatened to unleash soldiers on street vendors if they did not move within seven days.

    However, the deadline was later moved to June 26 after the army distanced itself from the move.

    Nyoni gave members of the Queen of Grace Trust the greenlight to move to a vending site of their choice. The Trust claims to be closely linked to Grace.

    She also said Zanu PF Youth League secretary Pupurai Togarepi would soon launch a fund to assist informal businesspeople.

    The function was dominated by chanting of Zanu PF slogans as party officials took turns to shower praises on the First Family.





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