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Maputo municipal police yesterday resumed the compulsory removal of informal vendors from the sidewalks and lanes of the Praça Dos Combatentes, better known in the city as ‘Xiquelene’ market, Jornal Notícias reports today.
Authorities will remain in place until the situation is under control. For this purpose, the Municipal Police was reinforced with personnel from the Police Canine Unit.
According to Municipal Police spokesman Joshua Lai, the reinforcement of the force is of extreme importance for the desired security. He said the move was necessary because the sidewalks were totally occupied by informal sellers who endangered their own lives and those of pedestrians by forcing them onto road.
Lai said vendors had been told about the mandatory evacuation of public spaces, including the recently rehabilitated Julius Nyerere Avenue, at the beginning of the year. Unsuccessful attempts to relocate ‘Xiquelene’ informal vendors voluntarily had begun on February 5.
Maputo Municipal Council director of markets and fairs Arnaldo Monteiro pointed out that the municipality had refurbished the Polana-Caniço Market, which was available for vendors affected.
“We spent about two months sensitising informal vendors and pointed several markets with free stalls. At the moment we are waiting for them to occupy the ‘Mucoreano’ market, then we will take the remainder to other nearby markets,” he said.
Monteiro pointed out that this was a prolonged exercise because, in addition to addressing the issue of vendors, the public would also change their shopping habits, which would necessarily take time.