KITWE City Council (KCC) has finally managed to contain street vending in the central business district by keeping vendors at bay after removing them recently.
Last week, street vendors, mostly women and youths, tried to return to the streets and fought running battles with the police, who fired tear gas to disperse them. Police arrested 35 of the traders.
A check in the central business district yesterday found the streets and corridors of shops all clear of street vendors, and this has won the praise of various other interest groups.
Some street vendors resorted to hiding some of their merchandise in an unfinished building in the central business district, which they sold on the streets after trading hours but the vigilant local authority quickly moved in to control the situation.
The local authority has since identified trading places at Chisokone market, where the street vendors have been relocated.
Meanwhile, Luanshya Municipal Council (LMC) is to hold a series of consultative meetings with street vendors to explain its intention to relocate them from the town centre corridors to various markets where the local authority will provide services like water and toilet facilities.
Luanshya Mayor Nathan Chanda said the local authority could not provide water and toilet facilities to street vendors in the town centre corridors so it was only prudent that the vendors were relocated to the markets where various services would be provided to them.
Mr Chanda, who is PF provincial youth chairman, was speaking yesterday in a phone-in radio programme on Your Anthem Radio (YAR) in Kitwe.
“As a council, we will engage street vendors on our intentions of relocating them from the town centre corridors. We will explain to them that the local authority will not provide water and toilet facilities in the town centre corridors, but will only provide those facilities in the markets.
“So we hope they will see sense in our intentions of relocating them to markets and support us in our exercise,” Mr Chanda said.
Mr Chanda said Luanshya had ample space in markets to accommodate street vendors who would be relocated from the town centre.
“I have been conducting a tour to find out if the markets in the district have enough space for street vendors. I can tell you that we have enough space for street vendors and we will talk to them before relocating them,” he said.
Association of Vendors, Traders and Marketeers of Zambia (AVTMZ) general secretary Kelvin Kahilu said his association would always embrace a consultative approach by local authorities when relocating street vendors.
Mr Kahilu said he was happy that councils like Chingola, Ndola and Kitwe had held a series of consultative meetings with street vendors before relocating them from the corridors.
“As long as the councils consult us when they want to relocate our members from the streets, we will always support their exercise. The only thing we wouldn’t like is to see the council coming with brutal force to remove vendors from the streets,” he said.