Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
BUSINESS was brought to a standstill in the Central Business District of Gweru on Tuesday when police and illegal sellers fought in fierce battles after later challenging a council directive to leave the streets and buy shopping streets after a typhoid outbreak.
Eight people died as a result of typhus in Gweru, while suspicious cases have risen to more than 1,500.
Sellers took to the streets with stones and other objects and attacked police and municipal vehicles that swore to stay on the streets, especially on asphalt pavements in Zimbabwe and Pick and Pay.
Last week, the local authorities and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Householders jointly issued a 48-hour ultimatum to leave the CBD as part of their intervention strategies to combat typhoid fever.
Salesmen have remained and have asked the local authorities to call in the police to help them leave the streets and sidewalks.
There was drama in the CDB from about 11 a.m. to about 3 p.m., when police who tried to hawk vendors from street to their designated outlets were stoned and attacked.
The situation was so tense that large retailers such as Pick n Pay, OK Zimbabwe and other stores in the CBD were forced to close. The police rushed to cover when vendors tried to set their vehicles on fire and release tear smoke to spread them. Acting Inspector Ethel Mukwende of the Midlands provincial police said the police had strengthened the municipal police by moving the sellers of the streets and sidewalks in the CBD to designated sales outlets.
She said the police did not use violence to do that.
"What happens is that after the outbreak of the typhoid in Gweru, the Gweru City Council approached the police to help them ask the sellers to leave the CBD," said Asst Insp Mukwende. "This is one of the strategies to combat typhus.
"We are engaging suppliers and they are aware that they are supposed to be moving in. Contaminated food can be a source of typhus and Gweru City Council said that salespeople can eventually spread the disease, we do not use force to move them, but we do involve them. "
Town Clerk Mrs Elizabeth Gwatipedza confirmed that sellers had waived the abandonment of the CBD since Monday.
She said she still had to get full details regarding yesterday's skirmishes.
"I fail to get through to the person who was on the ground," she said. "Last update was at lunch (Monday) where they played hide and seek, there were few resistance and vendors had adopted a strategy not to show their goods, but to wear them in small quantities. & # 39;
A salesperson who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the challenge with the places set by the council was that they were full and out of town.
"We are looking for school fees," he said. "Soon schools will be opened, so the only way to survive is illegal sales, we will live every day as it comes."