Three people were injured after Bulawayo City Council (BCC) municipal police fired rubber bullets when the local authority clashed with vendors on Thursday.
Vendors were challenging the local authority’s decision to remove them from operating in the city centre.
Council police and the Zimbabwe Republic Police descended on the illegal vendors operating along the Fifth Avenue leading to skirmishes.
The police confirmed the incidents.
“The ZRP confirms a shooting incident in which three people were injured after Bulawayo City Council Police fired rubber bullets to disperse a crowd which had gathered to demonstrate against an operation targeting illegal vendors in Bulawayo CBD on 23/01/23 in the morning,” the police said on Twitter.
“The injured are admitted at United Bulawayo Hospitals. More details will be released in due course.”
ZANU Decries CCC Antics As Dangerous
ZANU PF Bulawayo Province Secretary for Information and Publicity Archie Chiponda has condemned the shooting incident.
“The CCC led Bulawayo City Council unilaterally decided to carry out a clean-up of the 4th Street Market area this morning.
“Their botched and violent operation began in the early hours of the morning.
“Whilst the norm is that such operations are carried out in conjuction with the ZRP, in this instance the BCC acted alone.
He added that the approach was heavy-handed but was informed by CCC perception that vendors are appendages of ZANU PF.
“The BCC Security officers discharged weapons in a public market place at unarmed vendors simply trying to earn an honest living.
“We unequivocally and loudly condemn the actions of the BCC.
Chiponda said it is dangerous to allow political machinations to reach the levels of endangering members of the public under the guise of enforcing City By-Laws.
“After all, the prevailing situation at the 4th Street Market is a result of the Egodini debacle.
“This is a time for peaceful and sober politics.
“We plead with the CCC-led BCC as well as the CCC itself, and all political players, to shun such violent and inflammatory actions.
“The injury to any citizen is not worth the perceived political mileage you seek to obtain.
“All we ask is that all players let peace prevail,” he said.