Gazaland informal industrial area along Willowvale Road was targeted yesterday by Harare City Council, with illegal roadside structures being demolished and roadside markets cleared.
Illegal extensions that had encroached on the road area were removed while abandoned cars were crushed. ost informal traders were in a last minute rush to remove their properties and wares at the once busy area.
Vehicle wrecks that had encroached on the road servitudes were removed before being crushed. Even a dumped haulage truck on the roadside was removed.
The traders managed to save almost half of the vehicle wrecks s by pushing them to safe places, including nearby houses.
Structures that had encroached onto the road verges from houses, some used by food shops and barbers, were also destroyed. It was brisk business for push cart owners and those with open trucks with traders desperate to move their wares.
Thieves and looters, including children, were preying on the traders that were collecting their wares at the last minute with a handful that resisted notice to vacate having lost their valuables including broken down bicycles.
One of the earth moving machines used for demolishing the structures developed a tyre puncture around lunchtime and was parked at a nearby council facility.
A traditional healer at the Gazaland shopping area partly hogged the limelight after resisting the demolition of his illegal shack alleging that his operations were aboveboard as he was registered with Zinatha. The shack was still intact.
City spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme on Tuesday said the demolitions are ongoing and those still operating illegally should vacate the public space they are illegally occupying.
“Where people have been given notices, they should do the honourable and move off on their own, he said.
A trader, Mr Felix Chavengwa commonly known as “ngoma ngoma” in the Gazaland area who has been operating at the site for the past 15 years only complained of being given a short notice.
Mrs Tariro Mandevo was sobbing, alleging that the space barons whom they used to pay vanished into thin air.
“I used to rent US$65 monthly for a kitchen space. When I informed my landlord about the demolitions l was shocked to hear him saying there is nothing much he can do to save us.”
The council on Tuesday also demolished part of the famous Glen View 8 home industries complex where some traders had illegally set up shop, although there are also legal and licensed businesses in the complex.