Street vendors in Ndola have expressed disappointment in the way Ndola City Council (NCC) levy collectors and other street vendors are relating to each other when it comes to issues of levy collection and remission.
Association of Vendors, Traders and Marketeers of Zambia (AVTMZ) President Fredrick Tembo noted with regret that it is unfortunate and unfair for the NCC and street vendors to be having what he deemed hiccups in their operations.
“The local authority levy collectors and the vendors should understand that levy collection is a two way process and both players need to understand that they cannot exist without each other”, Mr Tembo said.
He has since on behalf of the association appealed to the local authorities to sometimes understand that vendors have some challenges as they do not made enough profit out their merchandize due to some financial constraints in the country, affirming that vendors sometimes they may not afford to pay the K2.00 daily levy to the relevant authority.
“Business nowadays is hard so they should be some humanity even when collecting these monies from the vendors; the collectors should understand that if someone has not sold then they do not have the money”
“Vendors should pay the levy so that they can make something to sustain their livelihoods and the council workers need to understand that they need the funds to smoothen their operations so these two players should find an amicable way to resolve the disputes they come across”, Tembo said.
Mr Tembo who also appealed to the vendors to pay the daily levy because it is mandatory as enshrined by their local authority affiliation said if they have challenges when it comes to paying the money it is prudent that they communicate with the levy collectors through the right channel as opposed to playing hide and seek games.
Meanwhile, Ndola City Council (NCC) Public Relations Manager Roy Kuseka has denied giving levy collectors powers to confiscate goods from vendors if they fail to pay the K2.00 daily levy for trading in their respective areas as reported.
Mr Roy Kuseka has said the local authority reserves the right to ban vendors from trading if they fail to pay the daily levy but has no right to confiscate their goods.
“We do not allow the levy collectors to confiscate goods of any kind when a marketer fails to pay, all they have to do is inform their superiors who will take note and these will in turn talk to the marketers and educate them on the importance if this levy, Mr Kuseka said.
He has however noted that it is important for marketers to perform their obligation in terms of paying levy because it is the same money which the council uses to carry out some of the operations in the market places, adding that if vendors paid their dues it would help the council to deliver its services to the people effectively.
“Some vendors do not remit levy for reasons we do not understand yet the same people will shout for non-collection of garbage from the market forgetting that their input the council cant effectively deliver the services they want,” Mr Kuseka said.