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Maseru clean-up to clamp down on illegal businesses

Tsitsi Matope

MASERU — The Maseru City Council (MCC) will this week start clamping down on illegal operations at all bus stop areas in the central business district.

The joint inspection operation with the police will start this week until the end of November and is expected to restore
orderliness, improve cleanliness and help deal with lawlessness in bus stop areas.

In an interview last Friday, council spokesperson Lintle Moerane said the operation followed yet another successful exercise, over a month ago, which was aimed at restoring orderliness along the Kingsway.

“We have now entered into the second phase of the same exercise and our target is all bus stop areas.

“We are concerned about illegal operations such as prostitution, illegal selling of alcohol and drugs, invasion of spaces in front of shops by some street vendors, invasion of some parking bays and abandoned vehicles around the Pitso Ground Police Station area,” Moerane said.

She said the council has since held meetings with various stakeholders operating in the targeted areas, who include the street vendors committee.

“The meeting was meant to sensitise them of the upcoming inspections and for the various stakeholders to also make their members aware that anyone found on the wrong side of council regulations would face the consequences,” she said.

She said the police would be looking out for various crime suspects, which include drug dealers and would also take appropriate action towards those engaging
in businesses not stipulated in their permits.

“What worries us the most is how the areas have been turned into hubs of chaos with mushrooming illegal shebeens while some vendors are selling their wares in some vehicles that look abandoned.

“On the other hand, we also have some areas that were designated for vehicle parking but for some reason, some street vendors decided to take over such spaces and illegally turned them into fruit and vegetable stalls.”

Moerane added some invaders of spaces in front of some offices and shops in some areas also made a lot of noise and this was also disturbing and infringing upon the rights of legal operators.

“We have received many complaints over the issue of noise, not just around the bus stop areas but also around some residential areas. As for the noise in the central business district we have since cautioned some operators over placing their radio speakers outside their shops.

“It is highly unprofessional and insensitive to those around them doing various businesses.”

Moerane said the council is empowered under the Public Order (1970) to guard against public indecency and other various offences that can cause discomfort to the public.

She further added that the one-month clampdown would be followed by a cocktail of measures that would ensure the sustainability of prevention of all illegal activities.

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