Monday, June 24, 2024

Street Vendors Welcome Halt of Removal Plans, Call for Collective Planning and Alternative Trading Places

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The Informal Sector Workers have welcomed the halting of plans to remove street vendors from the Lusaka Central Business District. The Alliance for Zambia Informal Economy Associations (AZIE) General Secretary, Lameck Kashiwa, has called on the government to engage all stakeholders and plan collectively before making any decision regarding street vending. Kashiwa noted with concern that the government, through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, was quick to make a decision on the removal of street vendors from the Lusaka Central Business District before finding alternative trading places for them.

Street vending is an important source of livelihood for many Zambians, particularly those who are unemployed or underemployed. These vendors rely on the income they earn from their small businesses to support themselves and their families. However, street vending can also have negative impacts on public health and safety, as well as on the overall aesthetic of the city.

To address these concerns, the government had planned to remove street vendors from the Lusaka Central Business District in order to combat cholera and other diarrheal diseases. Local Government and Rural Development Minister Garry Nkombo had directed local authorities to ensure all street vendors are moved to designated trading places by Monday, January 16th, 2023. However, this decision was met with resistance from the Informal Sector Workers, who argued that removing street vendors without providing alternative trading places would negatively impact their businesses and livelihoods.

In response to these concerns, President Hakainde Hichilema has directed that no street vendors should be removed from the streets until further consultations are done. Kashiwa has since commended President Hichilema for this decision, noting that for the informal sector to succeed, the government needs to put in place measures that will support their businesses.

However, some street vendors have vowed not to vacate the streets citing lack of trading space in markets. They have argued that they largely depend on their small businesses for income and removing them out of the street without an alternative trading place will negatively affect their businesses.

Meanwhile, the Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) Executive Director Leah Mitaba has condemned the move by the government to restrict street vending without providing adequate trading places in the central business district. She has advised the government to broaden areas of economic activities which people can be involved in to ensure proper restriction of street vending going forward.

Some commentators said that , while the government’s move to combat cholera and other diarrheal diseases is commendable, it is important to engage all stakeholders and find alternative trading places for the street vendors before making any decision. The informal sector plays a significant role in the country’s Gross Domestic Product and measures to support their businesses should be put in place to ensure their success. It is crucial for the government to involve the community, private sector, and other stakeholders in this process to find a solution that benefits all parties involved.

18 COMMENTS

  1. If there was a time to deal with street vendors its now …half way through a Ruling Party’s term you wait it will campaign time and you will have cold feet. All these useless organisations like Zambia Informal Economy Associations (AZIE) just talk without any solutions why dont they provide toilets for its members who relieve themselves in the streets and dont pay the council to clean up.

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  2. You sow the whirlwind you reap the whirlwind…. previous government had started to remove these people from shop corridors, but Upnd took advantage by promising them that they will not be removed if Upnd wins the coming elections…. therefore it’s only logical that the street vendors voted for Upnd.

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    • DEJA VU – Where when did previous govt start to remove the street vendors give dates, minister and let’s see what happened…why do you shamelessly fabricate issues to suit your narrative? You give us the name of the person who promised that vendors will not be removed.

    • Tarino Orange… just go into the archives of old newspapers. One time vendors were being removed from the Kitwe ShopRite corridor when s Upnd official challenged the council to find them alternative places, there was a near riot as the traders cheered the official on. You don’t live here so you won’t believe what I say.
      And please stop using the word narrative.. it’s being overused and becoming jaded. Find another word.

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    • Deja Vu – So what do you want them to do as an opposition…you go to the archives and see HH and top officals position…this was a hot potatoe depending on where they were. Now I dont live there you live there but are busy spewing lies to support your flawed argument. I am afraid “Narrative” will be used as long as you dont back up your argument with facts.

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    • You sow the whirlwind you reap the whirlwind?
      Really laughable ..you are now stating here that street vending is a creation of this current govt. You chaps need to checked because very soon you will start posting that Bowman was an honest humble leader and life during PF was very peaceful.

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  3. Street vending is illegal.
    Therefore, all street vendors should be removed immediately, there should not be a halt.
    Street’s are not market places, they are for pedestrians on the sidewalks and motor vehicles on the roads.
    The scene depicted in the picture above are common in too many nasty and filthy African cities. The exception is Rwanda, where street vending is a thing of the past and ALL trading take place in designated areas.

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  4. Gary Nkombo is the only hard working minister in the new dawn government but he is always undermined by his boss. Why does the president appoint ministers if they cannot make decisions??

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  5. Lets be honest ,this street vendor cancer was nursed and fed by MCS and his PF when they promised to allow it to gain votes back in 2010.

  6. Tarino Orange. Please don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t say HH and Co created street vending I only pointed out an incident involving him vis-a-vis the issue. In Kitwe the council tried very hard to remove the vendors from the corridors going as far as allowing them to operate in these areas after working hours and also designating the area between Central police Kitwe club. All these came to an end during the campaign. To avoid riots the council decided to abandon the process. Why should I be telling lies over something that actually happened.

  7. In Africa we are very greedy and short sighted that is why our politicians use short sighted campaign promises and strategies to win votes! Street vending is now a political campaign tool with each party in power using it keep to keep or gain votes. That is how we allowed shanty compounds in the name of “mayendele” , people started settling any how, any where! Today our cities cannot expand properly because they are surrounded by shanty compounds!!

  8. Okay on this one Garry is working alone with out the blessings of his boss to remove the vendors ka? i wonder how the UPND work were one does this the other dose that, the kabushi by election in the middle of the president’s working campaign only to hear the campaign has been halted today uncle Garry working slowly but surly even the vendors aware of the moving out of the streets boom the presidents sounds the trampt street vendors are not going anyway till further notice. how does uncle Garry feel, what goes around camas back around when the PF removed the vandors the UNPD fort teeth n nile to see the vendors back on the streets.

  9. Terrible handling. As someone above has mentioned, now is the best time to make a decisive stand against street vending, stop the practice and send these people to allocated markets. Lusaka has opened two markets in the last two weeks, no excuse for street vending.
    The lesson here is that ministers must apparently ask for directions from the president before they work. We have seen this with minister of energy concerning loadshedding and now its repeated with local government and street vending.

  10. They used the removing of street by PF as a campaign tool and got the votes fro the street venders. So cancellation should not even celebrated, because venders were promised. Look at the way Mobile ntembas were destroyed.Mercelessly.

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