The Harare City Council is planning to build and spruce up four green produce markets as part of urgent measures to de-congest Mbare Market.

Government and the council are also planning the construction of a multi storey mall at Mupedzanhamo to enable it to accommodate more vendors.

This was said by Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Dr Sithembiso Nyoni during a familiarisation tour of Mupedzanhamo flea market and Mbare Market, recently.

Minister Nyoni was accompanied by National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe and Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba.

The team observed the marking and numbering of bays and noted that the replacement of the roof and precast wall was still pending.

While commending the work being done, the ministers raised a red flag on the issue of toilets as there is only one toilet that is expected to cater for more than 1 500 vendors. There is also no water supply at the market with traders buying the precious liquid at a nearby church.

At Mbare Musika markets there are no slabs, no sheds in some parts and the precast wall has many openings exposing products to theft.

The openings, the delegates noted also makes it easy for people to sneak into the market without being sanitised.

Housing and Social Development Director Mr Addmore Nhekairo said markets are heavily congested making it difficult to enforce social distancing.

“Four new green produce markets in Mabvuku, Hatcliff, Kuwadzana and Budiriro will be in place soon. At the moment we only have Mbare market and another one in Lusaka, Highfields suburb,” he said.

“The Coca cola market is also taking shape with contractors on the ground, it will be used to decongest Mupedzanhamo.”

Minister Nyoni said council should ensure that there is proper infrastructure at the four proposed markets.

Minister Garwe said a technical team will visit the proposed sites for the new markets next week and give feedback on what needs to be done.

“At Mupedzanhamo we might also consider going up like what other modern countries like China and America are doing,” he said

On demolitions, Minister Garwe said informal traders should be consulted first but he however stressed that they should also appreciate that the demolitions were being done for their benefit, to ensure that they have proper structures.

Mayor Gomba said while they may have challenges as a city, they were working together with Government and the informal sector to ensure that these are resolved quickly.