Alliance For Zambian Informal Economy Associations (AZIEA) has cautioned the Zambian government against stopping the collection of levies from street vendors. The General Secretary of AZIEA, Lameck Kashiwa, has urged the government to provide safer and organized establishments for street vending instead of threatening vendors. Mr. Kashiwa highlighted that discontinuing levies would not be a solution to the issue at hand. He also argued that the government is contradicting itself by calling street vending illegal, as the markets and bus stations act allow trading on the streets.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Maambo Hamaundu, has directed local authorities to stop collecting levies from street vendors trading in undesignated places. Mr. Hamaundu has stated that collecting levies from vendors operating in illegal areas would legitimize an illegal trade. The Permanent Secretary has also reiterated that vending on Lusaka’s Lumumba Road and elsewhere is illegal. He has suggested that designated trading areas be found, and Lusaka’s Central Business District should be left free of vending.
The President of the Street Vendors Association of Zambia, David Mukuma, has commended the directive, saying that it would help protect street vendors who are often harassed by authorities and subject to arbitrary and excessive fees. However, the AZIEA has expressed concerns about the directive, stating that stopping levies without providing alternative solutions would not be beneficial.
The increasing population in Lusaka has made it difficult for the council to provide proper services. Mr. Hamaundu has acknowledged that Lusaka was designed for 100,000 people but now has over 3.1 million people. He has stated that the government is working with the Japan International Co-operation Agency to re-plan the capital city to accommodate the growing population.
The AZIEA has cautioned the government against discontinuing levies without providing alternative solutions. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has directed local authorities not to collect levies from street vendors trading from undesignated places. However, he has emphasized that the Central Business District of Lusaka should be left free of vending, and designated trading areas should be found.