Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Police in Livingstone continue harassing newspapers and talk-time vendors despite being cautioned by authority

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She told vendors to park their goods and vacate the street to promote cleanliness in the city
She told vendors to park their goods and vacate the street to promote
cleanliness in the city

The State and Council police in Livingstone have continued harassing newspapers and talk-time vendors selling in the main street of Livingstone despite the Town Clerk Vivian Chikoti cautioning them over the matter.

A newspaper and talk-vendor Fredrick Kubiwa alleged that he was beaten yesterday by a police officer for displaying copies of newspapers in the corridors of Mosi-oa-tunya road where newspaper and talk-time vendors had been allowed to sell their products.

Narrating his ordeal to the Times of Zambia in Livingstone yesterday, Mr Kubiwa said he was beaten by a police officer who was in the company of constable Mweemba and Council Police.

“I was beaten around 10: 45 hours yesterday because I was found displaying the papers. The police officer kicked me on my leg and told me that I was rude for responding that there was no way I could sell hidden newspapers.

“As newspapers and talk-time vendors, we are finding it difficult to sell our products because the State and Council Police are telling us to hide the newspapers and talk-time in our plastic bags,” he said.

Mr Kubiwa wondered how vendors could manage to sell their products which were hidden in their plastic bags.

“How can you hide newspapers because people are supposed to see the headlines before they buy?

As for me, I get 20 copies of Times of Zambia, 50 copies of Post Newspapers and 30 copies of Zambia Daily Mail and these papers weight about 10 kilograms (kgs) so it is difficult to hide them or carry them in plastic bags,” Mr Kubiwa said.

The Council and State Police were not available to comment over the matter.

On Monday, Ms Chikoti urged State and Council Police to avoid harassing newspapers and airtime vendors who have been given designated places to sell their products along Mosi-oa-Tunya Road.

Some newspapers and airtime vendors had complained that some State and Council Police officers were harassing them in the street despite being given designated trading places.

The vendors, who declined to be named for fear of victimisation, accused the police of threatening them with arrests and grabbing their merchandise.

Some members of the public also complained of having difficulties in accessing airtime and newspapers in the town center component of Mosi-oa-tunya Road following the removal of vendors last Friday.

But Ms Chikoti said Council management would engage the police over the matter as it appeared that there was a communication breakdown between the Council and State Police.

She said newspapers and talk-time vendors had been given designated points within the Main Street where they could continue selling their products without any harassment.

“I will go with the Council directors of planning and public relations right now to meet the police so that we advise them correctly,” Ms Chikoti said.

She said unlike other products which were previously traded in the streets, newspapers and talk-time would always be sold in the street although in a better trading environment.

Newspapers and talk-time vendors are however not allowed to put benches in the street and sit on them while selling their products.

Some designated and approved selling points for newspapers and airtime along the main road include Print Shop, Green Shop, Bhukhan Brothers,Airtel, DAPP, Food Palace and Post Office among others.

Last week on Friday, Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo with the help of officials from her Ministry as well as Zambia Police Service and the Livingstone City Council removed 157 street vendors from Mosi-oa-tunya Road.

The action was aimed at promoting cleanliness in the city ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly.

The vendors have since been relocated to Green Market while some vendors have been given contracts to help with the landscaping of Mosi-oa-tunya Road.

Several stakeholders in Livingstone, including tour operators and tourists, have welcomed the removal of vendors from the street saying the move would go a long way in promoting cleanliness in the city.

2 COMMENTS

  1. WELL DONE, BEAT THEM UP…. NO EXCUSES or EXCEPTIONS ….. WE WANT A CLEAN ZAMBIA. A NEWS PAPER CAN BE BOUGHT FROM A SHOP, WHAT’s THE POINT OF PUTTING IT IN THE STREET. LET NEWSPAPER COMPANIES PARTNER WITH BOOK STORES & CHAIN STORES. TALK-TIME CAN BE DISTRIBUTED IN A BETTER WAY, LET THE MOBILE PROVIDERS COME UP WITH AUTOMATED MACHINES, OR PARTNER WITH BANKS?? (TO USE THE ATM MACHINES, VERY POSSIBLE AND WE USE IT HERE) OR THEY CAN DISTRIBUTE AIRTIME THRU CHAIN STORES AS WELL. NEWSPAPERS, MOBILE PROVIDERS, SHOULD HAVE A SENSE OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY TO ENCOURAGE CLEAN ENVIRONMENTS. ENOUGH WITH MA RUBBISH.

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