—Kabwe Town Clerk, Oliver Muuka, has said the local authority is undertaking different measures in an effort to clear street vendors from the streets of Kabwe town although it has not been easy as the vendors have not been cooperative.
Mr Muuka indicated that the council has over 1000 places available for occupation in the existing markets around the town but the vendors have declined to occupy them.
He is concerned with the escalating number of street vendors which has now extended to the rail line posing a danger not only to vendors but also to pedestrians who are forced to pass in the main road as the space left for them is occupied by the vendors.
Mr Muuka, however, said it has not been easy for the council to cooperate with vendors in this matter and the council has engaged the United Street Vendors Association to submit a list of all the vendors doing their business along the railway line in order to make it easy for the to allocate space to them in the market.
Meanwhile, the United Street Vendors’ Foundation president, Teddy Sinkala, lamented that the behaviour of vendors is due to the council’s failure to provide conducive and secure places for them in the existing markets as the available ones are full.
He complained that the markets have poor sanitation systems which require attention, adding that the council should rehabilitate the existing toilets.
Mr Sinkala has further advised the local authorities to involve the vendors when selecting sites for new markets so that they can assist in choosing locations where customers can easily reach them to avoid people from declining from their allocated space in markets.
Meanwhile, chairperson for the vendors at the rail line, Jonathan Chanda, also confirmed the need to build a modern market that will accommodate everyone as the existing ones are full.
Mr Chanda said the vendors are willing to vacate the streets on grounds that a market is built for them and they are given space there.
He further justified the reason for vendors moving into the road, saying they have no place to go and added that the Zambia Railways has worsened the situation by building a fence that leaves only two meters away from the road.
Another street vendor, Fridah Katebe affirmed the assertion that there is no space and she strongly requested the local authorities to intervene due to the known danger in them trading close to the rail line and the road.