By William Milasi

Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Jason Machaya seem to be reluctant to rein in Kwekwe Central MP Masango Matambanadzo who is accused of giving vendors liberty of the city.

Matambanadzo has since maintained that he has settled the vendors in the CBD with the blessings of Kasukuwere.

The “unique situation” according to Kwekwe Mayor Matenda Madzoke has left the council in a quandary.

Madzoke said that Kasukuwere dismissed the Legislators claims but to date no action has yet been taken.

The Mayor also said that council also approached Machaya over the issue but the council is yet to gain the Resident Minister’s audience.

Illegal vendors who have sprouted across the city have the blessings of the controversial MP, a self-confessed Grade Two drop-out.

“When we approached the Minister over the vendors’ issue, the minister gave a call to the person who was responsible for putting the vendors in the streets.

“He put the phone on loud mode and quizzed him over the issue,” said Madzoke in apparent reference to Matambanadzo.

“We heard him responding and saying that he thought he had heard the minister giving him a green light to put vendors in the streets an allegation which the minister denied. He said “No” I never said that. He even ordered that the vendors must be removed from the streets,” Madzoke told councillors at a recently held full council meeting.

City Town Clerk Emmanuel Musara concurred.

“It’s true that the minister called the MP after the mayor had approached him,” said Musara.

Madzoke said that they are yet to see any action from the minister after the meeting.

“The vendor problem in Kwekwe is unique. Unlike other towns and cities where vendors have settled in the CBD on their own here vendors were given that authority by someone in a position of authority,” said Madzoke.

The Mayor who earlier into his term made news after he cycled to work to save money for service delivery has since threatened to resign over the issue.

“We approached the office of the Resident Minister over the issue of vendors. It’s unfortunate that we are yet to gain his audience,” he said.

“Blackman” as Matambanadzo is known because of his dark complexion last year it the company of vendors stormed the Town House and demanded that the Town Clerk give vendors freedom of the city.

The defiant MP has also told the same vendors to resist the council who are demanding $5 for selling their wares on undesignated places.

“The amount which is being charged by the council is too hefty for the vendors. We are not fighting the council and we don’t have any intention to do so. We are not refusing to pay but we must pay a reasonable amount,” the MP said.

“Vendors have agreed and they have my backing that they are going to pay $2 per week,” said Matambanadzo to the applause of vendors.

“If anyone is at fault and is to be charged it has to be me because I was the one who gave you liberty to the city,” he said.

Late last year Matambanadzo was arrested for vandalism of council property after he controversially commissioned the intercity bus terminus in the company of vendors and touts and with what he claimed were Kasukuwere’s blessings.

The terminus was later commissioned by Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Jorum Gumbo who took a swipe at the Legislator.