Copperbelt’s Chililabombwe Mayor, Lucky Sichone, cautioned against politicising the ongoing clearing of street vendors from town centres countrywide.
Vendors have been removed from the Central Business District in Lusaka and Ndola, with Local Government Minister Garry Nkombo stating that the exercise is being extended to all districts.
Mr. Sichone stated that the ongoing control of street vending countrywide is a positive move that must be respected and supported.
“If we don’t address street vending, what kind of country will we have in the next five to ten years? We need to gradually address the issue of street vending. It is not a political matter. This is something everyone has to work on. It is good for our country and beneficial for everyone. So, we need to consider that perspective rather than a political one,” he said.
“We have heard people saying that the 2026 general elections are approaching. They threaten that you will lose the elections. It is not about losing elections. It is about doing the right thing for the people now. If we start focusing on elections, we might end up making wrong decisions just to win elections,” Mr. Sichone said.
He mentioned that the Chililabombwe council is engaging with street vendors in the border town in a cordial manner, stressing the importance of trading in designated areas.
“We are engaging with our street vendors. We are trying to approach this tactfully without using force. We are aware that these are our residents; they are the people who voted for this government. Therefore, we cannot impose this on them, but they need to understand the reasons behind our request for them to return to the markets. It will facilitate the cleanliness of our town, and the council will be better able to collect revenue when our traders operate within the markets,” Mr. Sichone concluded.