Zim authorities begin clean-up operation in Harare city centre

The city of Harare wants to rid the central business district of illegal street vendors and taxi operators.

Capital of Zimbabe, Harare. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

HARARE - There’s a heavy presence of riot police on the streets of Harare, at the start of an operation to evict illegal vendors and taxi operators.

The operation comes after President Robert Mugabe said Harare was dirty and ordered the city’s roads to be cleared.

This clean-up has been dubbed "operation restore order".

The city of Harare wants to rid the central business district of illegal street vendors and taxi operators.

The authorities accuse the vendors of polluting the streets and obstructing traffic, but vendors’ groups say their members have no other source of income.

Water cannons and troop carriers ferrying helmeted riot police are out in force.

So far there have been no reports of violence or arrests but eyewitnesses say that some of the street traders are staying put.