The Lusaka City Council will with effect from today not allow street vending in the Central Business District in the quest to fight the spread of Coronavirus in the city.
Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa says this includes Simon Mwewa Lane and Lumumba filter Lane which were late last year designated for street vending.
Mr Sampa said all street vendors have been requested not to turn up in the streets tomorrow but instead go back to established markets dotted around the city where they can access handwashing facilities that the Council has provided and also observe social distancing.
“Our records indicate that all markets in the City have vacant stands or trading spaces to accommodate applicants from the street vendors”, he said.
He said the decision comes in the wake of the increasing number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the country which stands at 36 and also in line with Statutory Instruments No. 21 and 22 of 2020, which, among other things has restricted mass public gatherings.
Mr Sampa said the Council has observed that it is practically difficult to provide handwashing facilities in the streets and make vendors observe social distancing of at least one meter apart.
“LCC together with its stakeholders are doing everything possible within their means to provide hand washing facilities, conduct sensitisations and make marketeers observe social distancing but the same cannot be done to street vendors”, he added.
Mr Sampa said this clearly shows that some residents of the city are not being reached in terms of measures put in place by Government to fight the spread of Coronavirus pandemic.
He said to this end, LCC has procured 300 litre capacity hand washing facilities to be placed in markets and bus stations and also enough chemicals to disinfect the establishments.
Mr Sampa said vending, is also hampering the Council’s efforts to keep the city clean thereby risking the lives of all residents.
He expressed hope that vendors and other stakeholders such vendors’ associations will support the move to avoid the spread of Coronavirus.
Mr Sampa has warned that Vendors who will not abide by the directive will be met with the full force of the combined team of state and council police officers.