LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes
APPROXIMATELY 8000 trading spaces in Lusaka markets by marketeers who have opted to sell their merchandise on the streets, Lusaka City Council (LCC) public relations manager, George Sichimba, has disclosed.
Mr Sichimba said the records by the local authority indicated that there were approximately 8000 empty spaces in markets around the city created by traders who had opted to return to the street.
In statement to the Sun, Mr Sichimba said the local authority had deployed the state and council police in the Central Business District (CBD) to repel the influx of vendors on the streets.
He condemned the people had been spreading rumours that vending has been legalized and were cashing on unsuspecting traders through charging them as much as K1500 for trading spaces.
“The Council has in the last few days observed an influx of vendors in the CBD and also some unscrupulous people demarcating trading spaces along CBD roads for K1, 500. The CBD is already congested with vehicles and allowing the vendors back will just worsen the situation,” he said.
“This assertion that street vending is back is not correct because vending is still illegal and the Council will not allow the vendors to return to the CBD,” Mr Sichimba said.
Mr Sichimba said the local authority was urging the people who had abandoned market spaces to go back before their spaces are allocated to other people.
He also encouraged all those who wished to acquire trading spaces in markets to approach the market masters for allocation.
“Vendors who could have paid money to unknown people for allocation of trading spaces should demand for refund from the very people they paid to as no one will be allowed to trade in CBD,” he said.