Minister won’t budge on street vending

By AARON CHIYANZO

GOVERNMENT will not bow down to pressure from irate traders who want to put the lives of many Lusaka residents at risk by demanding to be taken back on the streets Local Government Minister Vincent Mwale has charged.

Hundreds of irate Lusaka Kanyama traders yesterday riotously took to the streets demanding to be allowed to vend in the streets, following their removal last week to pave way for a major clean up exercise as a result of the cholera outbreak.

But Mr Mwale reiterated that government would not be rushed to make uncalculated decisions as a progressive roadmap to the situation was already in the pipeline. The minister called on the traders to be patient as a roadmap which would see some markets opening and other conducive trading places being made available was already concluded.

Ms Mwale told journalists in an interview at State House yesterday that government was only finalising how the roadmap would be implemented.

He however charged that government would not bow down to pressure from traders who would want to rush things.

Mr Mwale said government would not put the lives of Lusaka residents at risk because of rushed decisions as a result of pressure from the traders.

“There were protests in Kanyama because people want their trading places back.  But they should be patient because cholera is still there. And we have already come up with a roadmap which will see some markets in Lusaka being allowed to open and other conducive trading places made available,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Mwale explained that government had introduced curfews in certain areas because people were not complying with the measures which had been put in place following the outbreak.

He said that some traders were still going back to sell cooked foods and other prohibited merchandise in streets after officers manning the places knocked off.

Mr Mwale said that the traders should be careful how they handled the epidemic and assured that government was doing everything possible to ensure business was back to normal in a safe environment.

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