Thursday, May 30, 2024

Choma vendors storm DC’S office demanding to be allowed to trade on the street

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Scores of vendors trading along Macha road in Choma today stormed the District Commissioner’s office Bernadette Hamweemba to solicit her intervention in a matter where the council has directed them to vacate their trading area.

The marketeers demanded that the council provides an alternative trading place for them before evicting them from the town centre.

The marketeers accused the council of undermining the authority of the District Commissioner who allowed them to continue trading in their makeshifts along Macha road.

But the district commissioner urged the marketeers to remain calm and also maintain cleanliness and hygiene around their trading places before being moved to Shapande market which was yet to be rehabilitated.

“With immediate effect, I will go and speak with the people in authority at Choma Municipal Council to allow you conduct your businesses around that area until an alternative place is found for you to trade from or until rehabilitation works of Shaphande Market are complete”, she said

She said the council were moved to evict them from the trading area because it was poorly maintained as heaps of garbage was kept next to the restaurants which service food for the public.

Ms Hamweemba however urged the marketeers to cooperate with the council and move to which ever area the council would provide.

And speaking on behalf of the marketeers Njekwa Mubita said the marketeers were ready to leave the trading area to any alternative place the council deemed fit for them to conduct their businesses.

“it is not fair for the council to just ask us to move out of this trading area at this time of the year when we are raising money to take our children to school, as marketeers we are ready to leave this area provided the council gives us an alternative trading area”, he said

Mr Njekwa said a named public health officer from the council alleged that the DC had no powers to authorise the traders to continue conducting their businesses around that area which the council cited as a public nuisance.

But when reached for comment the public health officer denied the allegations stating that the marketeers had misrepresented the facts.

Meanwhile, Choma Municipal Council acting town clerk Modai Mwakanandi said removal of the vendors from any trading place was not a baby of the council alone but a collective decision that required the involvement of the DC.

He said although the public health worker was working according to his job description the decision to remove the marketeers from the trading area should be collective as it cannot be made individually.

Mr Mwakanandi said the local authority would work closely with the office of the DC to ensure that an alternative trading place for the affected marketeers is found as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Choma Municipal council Public relations officer Robert Zawe said the issue concerning the vendors trading along Macha road was in court and until the case was closed the council cannot take any action.

Earlier Choma district commissioner Bernadette Hamweemba indicated that rehabilitation of the Shaphande market in Choma would commence immediately to ensure that the marketeers who have the responsibility of providing for their families conducted their businesses without any interference.

She said government was keen to uplift the living standards of all Zambians which includes the marketeers.

ZANIS

3 COMMENTS

  1. how can you relocate people to shampande market? These people want a trading place within the central business area. Shampande mkrt is being abandoned for a reason it is in a remote part of choma which is also difficult to access during the rain season. It used to be a busy mkt in the 70s & 80s. Times have since changed. Attempts have been made in the past to relocate pipo there but there was no one to buy there merchandise.

  2. This is a joke at it’s best. Nobody seems to be in charge of things. The established law on vending is not being followed and so are the health regulations that are supposed to protect the public. I think we are not yet there to call ourselves educated or civilized people that can reason. If we had white people running our affairs, the complaints would not have been there. Our people must learn to follow the law and those not willing must be litigated, fined, and or made to do community service. Health Inspectors please do your job without fear or favor. You are protected by law as long as what you do is in line with your job description.

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