Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sylvia Masebo orders the removal of all Street Vendors on the main streets in Livingstone


Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo  telling a vendor to pack and leave the corridor
Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo telling a vendor to pack and leave the corridor

Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo has ordered the removal of all street vendors on the main streets and corridors in the tourist capital.

Ms Masebo who led a team of council officials, some government officers and state police in riot gear today forced many street vendors out of the streets in a bid to make the street clean and bring

Ms Masebo said trading on the streets in the tourist capital has made streets very dirty and crowded a situation she noted was not conducive for tourists.

The Minister said there was need to remove all streets vending activities in order to bring cleanliness and sanity to the city ahead of the United Nations World Tourism General Assembly (UNWTO) in August this year.

“We cannot allow a situation where our streets are so congested with all sorts of merchandise without room for people or tourist to freely walk and do their activities and I want everyone out,” said Ms Masebo.

“And it is unfortunate that the council decided to allow this situation to become what it is today instead of taking action and stop people from trading on the corridors,” Ms Masebo said.

Ms Masebo also ordered the immediate removal of all advertisement bill board which were wrongly placed to make the streets look better.

Meanwhile, Ms Masebo is expected to meet all the street vendors who have been forced to vacant trading on the streets at the council chambers this afternoon to find a suitable place for them to trade from and not on the main streets.

Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo  telling a vendor to pack and leave the corridor to promote cleanliness in the city
Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo telling a vendor to pack and leave the corridor to promote cleanliness in the city
She told vendors to park their goods and vacate the street to promote cleanliness in the city
Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo telling a vendor to pack and leave the corridor to promote cleanliness in the city



  1. Yes it is about time especially with the coming World Tourism General Assembly.They can go to Maramba market for now.

    • Street vending takes place world wide but unlike the zambian case, its regulated, vendors conduct their business in a clean environment and pay tax.

      Masebo’s orders are welcome but she faces a gigantic task of actually seeing the people off the streets forever as they will re-appear as soon as she leaves for Lusaka.

      The only person who can effectively end this filth is Sata but he is unlikely to order their removal for political expedience

    • Am not sure if this kind of actions are worth it. “… you children, remove your toys, kuleisa abeni”. I leave my house the way I like it. If a visitor comes, they never notice that I vacuumed just for them. Keep your streets clean daily.
      Even in Lusaka, go and do same Masebo.

  2. How about removing all street vendors country wide instead of L/stone alone due to WTGA??? Our towns are looking very dirty.

    • “Our” how can you “our towns” when your name is VIJAY, an Indian peace of. You leave OUR shops, vacate then we can go in and trade in there, or else we will continue selling in OUR streets. Ni Zambia ya bonse, except Indian.

  3. The towns might be dirty, but whose responsibility is it to clean publics spaces?? Why must young people trying to survive, be forced to sacrifice their livelihood for the sake of the Ministers vanity. Surely these same youth who have been forced to giveup their only way of making money, will now directly interfer with the upcoming event, possibly through theft or plain hustling of visitors etc.

    • You have a valid point but you are forgetting something. Whoever has to cleanup after the vendors, needs to be paid a wage every month.
      Are these vendors willing to pay council rates and small business tax?

    • @ Simms… Well brother or sister. You ask whether our young brothers and sisters on those streets will be willing to pay levies etc…I say of course they will, it will be ENFORCEABLE. The authorities simply need to engage ALL street vendors, if you want to call them that, and liase with them, explain that they will be permitted to trade on account that they pay a daily/monthly, per annum top-up or licence fee to trade. In exchange the council shall CREATE EMPLOYMENT for cleaners + inspectors (ZAMBIA POLICE), the councils will diligently take responsibility for cleaning up, GRZ can provide extra grants/funds etc in collaboration with fees from traders for the regular clean-up operations. Now, when the authorities have played their ROLE in providing an efficient system/clean environment,…

  4. Targeting certain days of the week, such as Sunday seems excellent idea. Please give it a try. Similarly, targeting certain streets could help. What is critical here is replacing chaos with orderly conduct of business, be it informal or formal. Litter and garbage will disappear with time.

  5. Masebo (and PF) have had since September 2011 to “find a suitable place for them to trade”! Why are they still looking?

  6. Prof Nkandu Luo said the same thing and earned a rebuke ( and possibly a demotion), Colonel Chanda did a u-turn on the same, Sylvia may be spared because we have to please tourists during the UNWTO. We need a more pragmatic and permanent solution, all towns are in the same situation.

    • I agree with you. The messages from this govt (PF govt) concerning street vending are conflicting and confusing. Yes, Minister Luo was the first to try and clean up street vending but what happened to her? She got demoted and sent to look after traditional chiefs!

      Please PF, we all know street venders are a powerful constituency of yours, but sure you can come to some sort of compromise with these people and bring sanity to our streets. As the situation stands now, you really look bad and impotent as a govt to govern. The chaos caused by street vending gives very bad impressions to our foreign visitors who come from organized societies. And if not brought under control, Zambia will always remain second, third or fourth to RSA, Botswana, Namibia, even Zim in terms of tourism!

    • If they let Luo carry out her duties 12 months ago by now things would have been stabilised and we would have had clean corridors and streets.

  7. This must be be done countrywide. We must be a nation of law and order please mother Zambia! Why do we fail to enforce the law? Please take ’em off the streets for good!

  8. Masebo says: ”trading on the streets in the tourist capital has made streets very dirty and crowded a situation she noted was not conducive for tourists.” So the only reason we are now compelled to clean our own town is because of tourists? What happens after they go back? We revert to mediocrity, filth and squalor?

  9. Street vending adds vibrance to a city. Go to any tourist city in europe and you will find street vending. This is people’s livelihood we are messing about with here. This minister had plenty of time to plan and organise the UNWTO. You don’t just wake up one day and start chasing people off the streets. Why didn’t you consult with them and perhaps come up with a lasting solution such as creating modern licensed trading areas for the vendors. As government you have to create sanity, license vendors and then tax them. Anyone that refuses to comply, you use law enforcement to deal with them simple.

    • The way street vending is practiced in Europe or America can never be compared to the chaotic situation obtaining in Zambia!

      Street vending in Europe or America, and in many other regions, is well organized and properly controlled. Street venders are made to pay taxes/fees to help clean up their filth. In fact, there are only sections of the city (streets) that are open to street vending; and never down town where street venders are hindering patrons and shop owners to do business in peace.

      In the city I live in here in America, there are only certain days that street-vending is allowed, and only for a period of time and in designated streets/areas of the city. Portable Toilets are brought in and city police patrolling. It is the same with Farmer’s market days!

    • @Yamabayamba, You’ve just repeated everything I mentioned in my blog so not quite sure what your issue is here? I’m not glamourising street vending but if we are to find a solution it has to come from the people on the streets and in partnership with government. We need a lasting solution to street vending not just one that ticks the boxes for the UNWTO, incase you misunderstood by point.

    • Please give an example of the cities you are referring to, so we can check them. Do not confuse yourself with open markets and street vending!

    • @ The Observer and Jay Jay…. I agree fully with FutureZed, I myself worked on the streets of the city Of Plymouth in the United Kingdom for more than a year selling and promoting music for a record label. I was whats described as a Peddler, peddlers/similar to street vendors have existed for 100s of years in England. Further, i have seen and bought from street vendors on the streets of London. Street vendor can be made into a respectable oocupation for our young and unemployed. Its part of the solution for national development. We can have drummers on the streets, we can make the atmosphere on our streets uniquely Zambian, tourists from Europe or overseas don’t want to come and see the same thing, they v got malls, they started the damn concept, they want to see something Zambian, our…

    • @ Jay Jay and Observer, go to google and type street vendors and the European city of your choice and see for yourself. New York has over 10,000 street vendors, you will find them in Italian cities selling counterfeit designer products. If you go to Prague, one of the tourist capitals of Europe, the Charles bridge, city square are full of street vendors. As for Jay Jay, if you are really in London and not just using a proxy server then you should know that you have street vendors here in London. Go to and see how street trading is regulated by the city of Westminster. Management is about finding solutions not just moving problems elsewhere.

  10. Because visitors are coming you clean the house for the first time in a long time, you send the kids to buy drinks and chicken that has never been consumed since the last visitors left… this is how Zambia is being managed on many levels.

    • Kalok we are back to the KK days. When KK was to visit a district then all of a sudden graders were available to grade the roads. When he left that was that. Next time to grade is during KK’s coming. It was like that from 24th October 1964 up to 1991. Imagine for 27 years we thought it was the right thing and some still think the same. These are the results of Dictatorship and Communism. “Animal Farm type of leadership style” And this ka MMD Masebo is really a donkey, just wondering where from she has all of a sudden derived all these pompousness and powers. Does our Govt really know what they are doing? The Govt has now gone to the DOGS

  11. Sanity is very important and we should embrace it even if it will affect some people and mostly likely make some people unpopular. Streets the country over are dirty due to street vending and we just have to do the right thing otherwise, we will remain in the dirtiest environments and continue affecting our health. Many street vendors do not even know or understand the dangers they pose on those streets and it is important to educate them while taking them out of the street to proper designated places with proper sanitation for a clean and health life. I hope Masebo will not end up like professor Nkandu Luo!

  12. In spite of the fact that streets need to be kept clean and trading needs to be organised, this action smacks of an unplanned knee jerk reaction aimed at making L/stone look temporarily good during the WTO conference. How much street vending a country has, depends on one or a combination of several factors; 1) State of the economy 2) simple failure to act against it 3) political populism 4) lack of thinking in arriving at a compromise that does not further jeopadise peoples’ lives, while at the same time abiding by environmental bye-laws. Decide for yourselves where the PF stands in this scenario.
    By the way, is it true that Pilato has been arrested for releasing a song called BUFI with Pietersen? The video is on You tube (about broken promises)

  13. Yaba dressing like a bimbo with winter boots and tight jeans na fake hair but she is a cabinet minister only in Zambia.

  14. People will judge you by your words ! This is a 180 degrees turn around by this Masebo person. If you look at the bottom of this very page on the related stories, there is a title”Masebo assures Livingstone street vendors of President Sata’s protection” in which she actually endorses the street vendors and says they are voted Micheal Sata into office and should continue with their businesses in the streets. These people can really Change !!!! Suckers and backstabbers !!!

  15. The PF cannot have its cake and eat it too.They OKeyd street vending to attract voters to PF and now this turn? Total opportunists and lacking principles.

  16. But why treat symptoms when you can treat the pathogenesis of the disease! Stop trying to impress the tourists by pretending to be clean when you have a lot of people to impress by giving them Jobs. When people have an office, they will only go to the streets to get vitamin D.

  17. Who is responsible for cleaning and bringing sanity to our streets? If these people are paid using tax payers money then surely the minister should be asking these questions to Livingstone city council, unless she is carrying out a PR exercise on their behalf? Why do we have to wait for either the president or a government minister to say something before we see action on the ground. If the councils are failing to bring order to the towns and cities, fire them and employ people who will produce results. The minister can not patrol the streets of Livingstone all the time but the people from the council can.

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