Sunday, July 14, 2024

Possible Soutions to solving street vendors situation


It is great to note that government including previous governments have built designated areas or zones in Lusaka about “11039 trading places in 31 markets in Lusaka out of which 4415 are occupied and the difference remains empty” as reported by Mr. Phiri the Permanent Secretary local government. This allows vendors who are permitted to conduct their business without causing disruption to pedestrian traffic or impeding emergency services.

Although the above is one of the solutions, more can be done. Therefore, i suggest that the Zambian government should put up a licensing system that binds street vendors to register their businesses. This helps authorities keep track of vendors and ensures they comply with health and safety regulations.

Readers of this would agree with me that the central business districts in most parts of the country have no good health and safety standards. Therefore, I propose that government must establish clear health and safety guidelines that street vendors must adhere to, such as food handling practices, waste disposal, and maintaining clean working spaces within Lima tower and other trading places across the country.

In fact, since government should swiftly implement health standards and proper trading systems in small towns, before the population in such cities reaches levels of Lusaka. Furthermore, government through taxes they collect can offer training programs and workshops to street vendors on topics like hygiene practices, business management, and customer service to improve their skills and overall operations.

To solve partly the employment challenges among the young graduates, government can license young entrepreneurs to run parking places in the city. However, the young entrepreneurs must help in keeping city clean by ensuring no person throws waste anyhow. The Lusaka city council must not only look at spraying mosquitos as their primary responsibility, but they are also in those offices to provide better ideas on how the city can be clean and green. Therefore, the Lusaka city council and other councils must explore possible Mobile vending carts or stalls around markets. Additionally, this allows for flexibility while preventing the permanent occupation of public spaces.
Furthermore, the city councils must always collaborate with local vendors to ensure that collection of vendors feedback is done when designing regulations and policies to ensure they are feasible and fair.

Associations of vendors and create opportunities for street vendors to participate in local markets, festivals, or events, providing them with additional exposure to potential customers without obstructing regular pedestrian paths. This allows them to generate more revenue. For example, government can advertise and encourage the population to buy cheaper things from vendors in new trading places, this allows even the remaining empty unoccupied places by vendors to be occupied.
The Zambian government can consider the social and economic circumstances of street vendors, especially mothers trying to educate children through such businesses. Hence, government through a well-regulated system must continue more providing support systems to help vendors transition into more formalized businesses or access social services when needed. This allows more Zambians to build shops and shopping complexes in future, which in the end gives more options for Zambians to buy in shops where cheaper vegetables and products can be found.

By Misheck Kakonde

The author is a legal scholar, comparative politics specialist, History and Cultural Studies, expertise in international relations, negotiation, and protocol (ZIDIS). Author of the book “peering into Zambian Cultures, Ceremonies” and contributor in the book “Young Zambia between poverty and abundant resources”.


  1. They deserve to be removed. They were cheated that they would not be removed from the streets once voted in power. Here in Kitwe the government had come up with schemes to keep our streets clean:
    Vendors were moved to the place where Kitwe Club used to be.
    Vendors were only allowed in places like ShopRite corridors after 17hrs.
    But during the euphoria leading to the general elections Upnd ensured that the two systems were discarded.
    Thrown under the bus.

    • Iwe……

      Stop your complaining and moaning……

      PF is not comming back

      Every new goverment changes pledges for the greater well being of the nation…….

    • #Sparkless … it’s not about complaining. It’s about telling people one thing and doing a completely different thing. I hope you will be around in 2026 and I can assure you that your party is going to make a 360 degree turn around on this issue.

  2. “…..Therefore, the Lusaka city council and other councils must explore possible Mobile vending carts or stalls around markets. Additionally, this allows for flexibility….”

    That is defeating the purpose of relocation to markets……

    Also Too much protocol for an african in your post…….

    One solution would be to dedicate a whole street, the length of Lusaka CBD to market trading. With toilets and washing facilities. No vehicle traffic.

  3. The best is to be proactive, arrest them when they are going back to the streets, do not wait to chase them after they are too many. Am yet to see the Republican president who will fearlessly do that without fearing to loose the elections. Vending has become too political

  4. Very disappointing post. You are proposing to stop vending by doing more vending! You are Binding.
    Lasting Solutions MUST INCLUDE :
    1 Pay Farmers economic prices for their produce.
    Cheap mealie meal, (yes mealie meal 25kg for family of five for one month is K250. Pizza for Slay queen one meal is K200.) discourages food production but encourages begging.
    2. When farmers are paid correctly, youths will take up farming and unemployment will be resolved.

    3. Cheap mealie meal is what drives loafers into town center. It’s also what drives people away from agriculture.

    Be real. God Put Adam in the Garden. Jesus was born pa Farm. These two events were not by chance. This is the gospel we have neglected.

  5. Mr Gary Nkombo and his government should visit Kigali and learn how to clean up a city. Then they should come to Lusaka and look at decongesting the CBD. This by creating mini-cbds in flung areas like Matero -Lilanda, Ridgeway, Chawama-Lilayi Chilenje, Avondale, Showgrounds. That way people and traffic wont have to congregate around Cairo Road for their every need

  6. @ De Ja Vu
    You see how criminals operate….the Vedanta issue has been overshadowed by the street vending issue…all the commentary now is about street Vending while HH..Vedanta and Kabuswe are laughing straight to the Bank…street vendors chased like dogs….and Vedanta will become the richest man in the world in just a few months

    • What goes round comes round… PF, MMD, Unip all thought were cleverer than the ordinary citizens. Of course Upnd is banking on one hundred percent yes from southern province, add a bit from province a, b, c, d and you are back in government. Every party banked on some strategy but they got kicked out.

  7. The problem is we have become so used to street vendors even when they are removed and we find the pavements empty we don’t know where to walk.

  8. How to stop vending: Create jobs Ala! Its not rocket science. Zambia has only 20 million people and millions of tons in mineral resources. Plenty of land for agriculture, Untapped tourist destinations. I didn’t see vendors in Berlin yet Germany is 4 times the population. There’s no street vending in Japan. Economists, engineers all kinds of professionals abound in Zambia. Where is the leadership to harness them?

  9. Why all the discussion, the people were breaking the law and they were removed from a space they were occupying illegally. Plain and simple.
    The sight of Lusaka and many other African give a picture to the rest of the world that that African’s are nasty, filthy, unclean, unhealth and uncivilised.
    The only exception is Kigali in Rwanda

  10. Zambians are just stubborn, these vendors only know selling in front of shops. Wherever there’s a traffic it’s a fertile spot for them. It’s a mindset problem. Consistent policing by the council is the only solution.

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