Association of Vendors and Marketeers (AVEMA) president Abel Chikwa has expressed concern that the relocation of vendors from the streets in Kitwe might cause confrontations because the council has not adequately sensitized the vendors on the available trading stands in the Chisokone market.
Speaking in an interview, Mr. Chikwa said the vendors are not aware of the stands being offered by the council because the Local authority has not carried out adequate sensitization on the available trading stands.
He observed that the council is using social media to publicize available trading stands to the vendors, a channel he described is not accessible to everyone.
“The calls by the council to vendors to apply for trading stands at Chisokone market is likely to fail or bring confrontations because the message is not reaching most of the vendors because the council is using social media, you do not communicate such information on social media, they should also engage the market association leaders,” Mr. Chikwa suggested.
He also urged the vendors to apply for the trading stands to avoid being inconvenienced when the council starts removing them from the streets.
However, Kitwe City Council Public Relations Manager Chola Mwamba said the council has issued several press releases calling on vendors to apply for trading stands.
Ms. Mwamba refuted assertions by the market association leader that the vendors may not be aware of the messages.
“The vendors are aware of the availability of the trading stands on offer but they may say they are not aware as an excuse because they just want to remain on the streets,” Ms. Mwamba said.
She urged the vendors to leave the streets as trading on the street was a public health risk especially with the eminency of the rain season.
She said the council will continue prosecuting members of the public that buy from the street vendors because they are the ones that encourage the trend.
ZANIS reports that Kitwe City council is offering trading stands in Chisokone market for vendors to apply in an effort to bring to an end to street vending.
The Local authority has further stated that once the period given for vendors to apply and acquire the trading stands on offer elapse, the council will not allow any vendors on the street.