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HomeEnvironmentGovernment urges Lusaka street vendors to fill-up 4,000 empty stalls

Government urges Lusaka street vendors to fill-up 4,000 empty stalls

Government and Rural Development Minister Gary Nkombo has declared that illegal street vendors will not be allowed to trade on the streets of the central business area because they are more than 4,000 empty market stalls in Lusaka.


Mr Nkombo, also revealed that psychotropic substances like marijuana and all forms of highly potent alcohol, including kachasu, are being abused and sold under the guise of street vending.

He said as per President Hakainde Hichilema’s directive, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development consulted extensively before vendors in Lusaka were ordered to vacate the streets on Tuesday to restore sanity.

He said he had proof that most vendors had stands in markets but instead opted to trade

from the streets.

He was speaking when he featured on Hot FM Radio’s Red Hot Breakfast Show in Lusaka yesterday.

On Tuesday, a combined team of council and Zambia Police officers evicted vendors from the central business district in Lusaka and demolished their illegal stalls.

Mr Nkombo said the police would continue keeping virgil on the streets of the CBD for one month to ensure that vendors do not return.


He said the Simon Mwewa Lane Market would be commissioned in two months’ time and it would be able to accommodate over 2,000 traders.


He also revealed marijuana and kachasu were being sold and consumed on the streets in Lusaka by vendors who were pretending to be trading in other legally permissible products..

“Because this (street vending) has been allowed to continue for so long, we have found now a situation where a lot of illicit activitiers have started creeping in under the guise ‘we are vendors’. Do you know that litres and litres of kachasu find themselves underneath those tables where people are vending?

“Do you also know that a lot of marijuana, and I am talking about chamba, do you know that there is a lot of psychotropic substances that are being traded in guise of vending? Do you know that when we removed those phone booths, we found a lot of seeds of dobo, chamba, in those booths?” he said.

He said that there was indiscriminate dumping of waste in the CBD and the vendors were attending to the call of nature therein because there were less than four public lavatories in town.


He said some vendors had even opened up restaurants on areas like islands on roads like Freedom Way and Lumumba.


“The two sides of the coin in this particular case is the ramification of leaving things as they are between sanity and insanity. Which is better, between dirt and clean? Which is better?” he said.

And Ministry of Local Government Permanent Secretary for technical services Nicholas Phiri revealed that there were 4,415 street vendors against the available trading space of 4916 in Lusaka.

Speaking when he toured Matero and City Market yesterday, Mr Phiri explained that the Government was merely enforcing the law that already existed on the ban of street vending.

He said the government would also ensure that the trading spaces had incentives such as running water electricity and shelter in cases of rain and security for their goods.

Mr Phiri called on the people operating outside the market countrywide to ensure that they operate from designated places so that they can fully benefit from the empowerments that government was providing.


“My appeal to the traders is that they should help government succeed by choosing morality over illegality, a clean city is not achieved by coincidence but intentionality,” he said. And ministry of information and media director spokesperson Thabo Kawana said the Government would not be blackmailed into embracing lawlessness for fear of being voted out of office.

He said that the Zambian people voted for change and that was what the new dawn government was actualising by creating sanity in public places.

“We have had people who allowed vending, but did they win? No they were voted out because people voted for the law and not individuals, political blackmail will not work this time” he said.

Meanwhile Muchinga ward 38 Councillor in Matero Mukupa said Matero market had enough spaces which could be occupied by at least 500 people.



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