There is a gang war raging at Mbare Musika with the area around Mupedzanhamo used clothes market being the epicentre of the war. Space barons affiliated with rival gangs are fighting for control of the lucrative vending spaces near the Mupedzanhamo market. The war has been raging war has been going on for days with at least one confirmed death by the police. It is not clear how the war erupted but there have been running battles between the gangs as members assault rivals with sticks and stones. There has also been a case of arson with property worth tens of thousands destroyed.

The ZRP confirms the arrest of Robert Machira (22), Tinotenda Hwechekweche (23) and Branwell Marime (38) in connection with a murder case in which they severely assaulted Onsimo Mavhingire (34) with sticks and wooden poles at Magaba, Mbare on 07/10/22 at around 1400 hours. The victim succumbed to the injuries sustained during the attack, on 08/10/22 while admitted at Sally Mugabe Hospital.

Meanwhile, 13 people have been arrested in connection with violent clashes which occurred at Mupedzanhamo flea market on 10/10/22 at around 1000 hours. No to violence and acts of lawlessness.

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Police make arrests due to a murder committed during the turf war

Space is gold in Mbare

Even though it might look unimpressive to the snobbish eyes of people from other suburbs, vending space is worth more than gold in Mbare. A savvy vendor can make sales worth tens of thousands of dollars in a single day depending on what they are selling. Sales of around US$10 000 per day are unheard of. Most of the vendors lucky enough to land a table in Mbare often get a lot of financial benefits. In return, most vendors have to pay some sort of protection fee to whatever gang is in charge of the area. Tables can sell for an astounding US$4 000 plus an eye-watering fee.

This makes space a coveted resource, especially in or near areas like Mupedzanhamo. Whatever gang controls a given area can demand protection and vending fees from vendors and stands to make significant amounts of money. In a country with very high unemployment and paltry incomes, this means everyone is jostling to join one of these gangs or start one of their own. Often these gangs claim to have invaluable political connections that allow them to operate with impunity. These connections have never really been confirmed and it’s unlikely they ever will be.