A municipal police officer in Harare was hospitalised yesterday after she was injured during clashes with illegal vendors operating in the city centre.
Council spokesperson Michael Chideme confirmed the incident and identified the municipal police officer as Pamela Chitendo.
“We can confirm that our officer was severely assaulted by vendors during an operation by the municipal police,” Chideme said.
“We have intensified our patrols in the CBD [central business district] to ensure that vendors go to designated sites. The city also appeals to political parties to discourage their supporters and members from attacking police officers as doing so only serves to tarnish the image of the city and that of the country.”
Recently, Zanu PF youths operating at the Mupedzanhamo Market in Mbare beat up a municipal police officer who was urging them to comply with the by-laws.
However, vendors denied the allegations of beating up metro police officers, saying Chitendo was attacked by some “spiritual forces” after confiscating their wares along First Street and Nelson Mandela Avenue.
Yesterday’s clashes followed ugly scenes over the weekend that saw dozens of officers fighting running battles with vendors while trying to clear the streets ahead of the controversial Harare International Carnival Street Party.
Vendors are resisting council moves to push them to designated sites which include Coventry holding bay, Coca-Cola along Seke Road, Tsiga Centre in Mbare and City Sports Centre.
NewsDay observed that most of the designated sites were deserted as vendors shunned them for lack of business.