Ndola City Council has removed vendors from the Central Business District where they turned streets which have no sanitary facilities into trading places.
The Council police and the State police moved in early the morning to demolish the makeshift structures which were built in the Chisokone road to bring sanity in the city.
Ndola City Council Director of Public Health Habert Mwanza said vendors were given a period in which to vacate the streets but they failed to follow the directives.
Mr Mwanza said it is illegal to venture into street vending as they are no sanitary facilities to cater for the large number of people that had blocked the Chisokone road for illegal business.
He said in situations where there is food poisoning it’s difficult to trace the source of the food and the entire community can be at risk of a health hazard.
“We are supposed to provide sanitary facilities when we create a market . Unfortunately we do not have any here in the streets and according to the bus stations and market act 2007, street vending is illegal even under public health,” he said.
Mr Mwanza said they have removed street vendors following government’s directives to have the vendors to be trading from the designated markets.
He said police officers will continue to patrol the streets to ensure that no one is trading from along the roads.
The Public health director said whoever will be found trading in streets after removing them will be prosecuted.
Ndola District Commissioner Joseph Phiri said the town environment has to be kept clean and the removal of the street vendors is part of the plan to ensure that hygiene is maintained in the central business district.
Mr Phiri notes that street vendors have been removed because they have been operating in areas where there are no sanitary facilities.
He said it’s unfortunate that some vendors have been using tins to answer the call of nature.
The District commissioner said there will be a lot of talks concerning the removal of vendors from the streets but the cardinal issue is that sanity has to be brought in town to ensure that the vendors operate from the markets.
“Let us not avoid the politics of street vending and support this noble cause as traders left markets in preference to trading from the streets and a change of mindset is needed for us to do the right thing,” he said.
Shalom Mudimba, a trader at Chisosokone Avenue, has welcomed the removal of vendors by the Ndola city council.
Mr Mundimba said the streets used to look dirty and motorists were unable to move freely.
He said government should find better trading places for the people that have been removed from the streets because their livelihood would be affected.
Mr Mundimba noted that Chisosokone market is too small to accommodate all the vendors and the government should have engaged the people before chasing them from the streets.
Kalumba Musonda said what happened was not a good move because the area they were trading from was given by the council.
“We thought they would not remove us,” Musonda said.
Jeff Mutale, a trade said he cannot go against the government’s decision to remove them from the street and only appealed for a better trading place to be allocated to them.