Chipata Council evicts vendors

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Chipata Council evicts vendors

Chipata, February 12, 2015, ZANIS……The Chipata Municipal Council has
ordered the removal of over 500 street vendors trading along the
Umodzi high way.

The removal is aimed at paving way for the road expansion programme
currently being carried out by Mota-engil Construction Company.

But the move has been met with resistance as the vendors are accusing
the Council Mayor Jealous Phiri of conspiring with traders in markets
to chase them from the streets.

Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Chipata today, vendor’s
representative Davison Zimba said the council is playing double
standards adding that other vendors such as those operating in
telephone booths have not been removed.

Mr. Zimba alleged that the decision by the local authority was done
haphazardly in order to serve the interests of the people selling in

He noted that people were forced to start selling in streets after the
council failed to allocate them trading places in markets.

He added that to their surprise the Mayor ordered that they are
removed from the streets without informing them and providing an
alternative trading place.

Mr. Zimba noted that with the high poverty levels in the country, street
vending was the only source of income hence   the need for the council
to rescind its decision.

But Chipata Municipal Council Mayor Jealous Phiri maintained that
street vending was illegal and that the Council would not relent in ensuring
that the practice is stopped.

Mr. Phiri said government has spent a lot of money through the
Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to construct shelters in the
markets that must be occupied by the people thereby increasing the
revenue base for the Council.

He dismissed the allegations that the local authority had conspired
with some traders in markets to remove the street vendors adding that
there are a lot of empty spaces in most of the markets were vendors could
relocate to.

The Mayor added that the construction works on the Great East road
will not be affected just to save the interest of street vendors who
are trading illegally.

Mr. Phiri said Chipata was striving to attain a city status hence the
local authority will support any initiative aimed at bringing
development to the district.

He further added that it was also not safe for people to trade along
the roadside adding that many lives have been lost through road-side accidents.